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A UTHOR: 



WATSON, ROBERT 
SPENCE 



TITLE: 



THE HISTORY OF THE 
LITERARY AND... 

PLACE: 

LONDON 

DATE: 

1897 



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V/atBon, Robert Spence 1837- 1911. 

The history of the literary and philosophical 
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LORD ARMSTRONG, CU., F.R.S. 



THE HISTORY 



OF 



The Literary and Philosophical 

Society 

OF NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE 

(1793— 1896) 



By ROBERT SPENCE WATSON 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, LIMITED 

i'ATERNOSTER SQUARE 
1 897. 




LORD ARMSTRONC, CI!., F.R.S. 



THE HISTORY 



OF 



The Literary and Philosoph"^^' 

Society 

OF NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE 

(1793— 1896) 



By ROBERT SPENCE WATSON 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS 



LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, LIMITED 

PATERNOSTER SQUARE 
1897. 



f 



''I - i- ^ J- 6 



PREFACE. 



•—^ 



A BOOK which must perforce be written in the irregular 
and infrequent leisure of a busy professional life, is 
sure to be fruitful in faults. That the curious reader 
will find more than enough in this book I doubt not, but I pray 
him to set down some of the frequent repetitions, for example, 
to the abiding sense of the writer that most persons will but dip 
into such a work, perusing carefully, at the most, such chapters 
only as may directly appeal to their special interest 

For other faults the reader may find some excuse in the love 
which I bear for a Society of which I have been a member for 
forty-three years, during thirty-three of which I have had the 
honour and privilege of serving it. That its story ought to be 
told has long been present to my mind, and the attachment of 
the narrator may perchance be permitted somewhat to condone 
the imperfections of his narration. 

I have to acknowledge, with much gratitude, the ready 

response which the many friends to whom I have applied for 

A* 



VI 



PREFACE, 



information have made to my requests. Especially must I 
thank the bodies of management of public and private institu- 
tions, and the ladies and gentlemen, who have enabled me to 
enrich my little volume with illustrations, many of which are 
portraits of those who have made our Society famous. I have 
avoided, as much as may be, speaking of the eminent men who 
are still with us, and who hand on to the future the fine 
traditions of the past. In only one case have I inserted the 
likeness of a living person, but that case is so exceptional that 
every one will agree in the propriety of my action. Lord 
Armstrong's services to the Society have been unvarying and 
invaluable over a period of half-a-century. 



ROBERT SPENCE WATSON. 



Bensham Grove, 

December loM, 1896. 



CONTENTS. 



-M- 



CHAP. 

I. Newcastle a Century Ago 
II. Our Predecessors 

III. The Birth and Infancy of the Society 

IV. The Building of the House . 
V. The Society at Home . 

VI. Its Growth and its Changes 

VII. Monthly Meetings 

VIII. The Library .... 

IX. Lectures .... 

X. Lectures — continued . 

XL The part which the Society has played in the 

promotion of Education in the City of New 

CASTLE • • • * • 

XII. The Mother of many Societies 
XIII. The Centenary, and after . 

Appendix A — Paper by Mr. William Thomas 
„ B — Lectures and Lecturers i 
„ C — Honorary Officials . 
Index . . . . 



PAGB 
I 

12 

33 

65 
88 

"5 
134 

173 
202 

226 



260 
292 
320 

331 
339 
367 

371 



! 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



-••^ 



PACK 

LORD ARMSTRONG, C.B., F.R.S. . . . FrontispUu 

By W. B. Richmond, R.A. ; in the possession of Lord Armstrong. 

VIEW OF NEWCASTLE FROM GATESHEAD DURING SEVERE 

FROST IN MARCH 1 784 . . . • . 4 

From a drawing in the possession of the Author. On the back of 
this drawing is written : '* This view of part of the town of New- 
castle, and representing the Tyne frozen over, is unique. The 
artist's name is not given, but the date, 1784, marks the time of 
its execution. In that year there was a severe storm of frost and 
snow, when the T3nie was three times frozen over in one month, 
a circumstance not before remembered by the oldest person living. 
The Castle appears in its original state. Tyne Bridge (with its 
oil lamps) had been completed some three years. The venerable 
Chapel of St. Thomas, with the old Exchange, and the famous 
crow's nest on the pinnacle of its spire, is introduced for the first 
time in this drawing, sketched from nature. A pair of crows first 
began to build their nest upon the top of the vane in March 1783. 
During the severe winter of the following year the crows had a 
very comfortable home ; here they resided for some years, hatching 
and rearing their young, but not Mdthout a very determined re- 
sistance from some other crows, who appeared envious of their 
curious and novel structure. All on a sudden the birds left, 
without any apparent cause, and never returned to it again. 
* Coming events' had *cast their shadows before.' Not long 
after their departure the Exchange took fire. Had they re- 
mained, not only their skilfiilly-built nest, but its feathered inmates 
would have been destroyed." — R. Robinson, Bewick's Head — 
November 1874." 

By using a powerful magnifier I find the artist's name and the 
date— "R. O. Clark— March 1784." 



X LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

GROUP OF MERCHANTS ON 'CHANGE (c, 1826) . 

From a drawing belonging to the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, and by Joseph CrawhalL 

THE VICARAGE, WESTGATE STREET (1856) 

From a drawing in the possession of the Author. 

THE FORTH (1840) ....•• 

From a drawing in the possession of the Author. 

JOHN GEORGE LAMBTON, M.P., AFTERWARDS THE FIRST EARL 
OF DURHAM ...••• 

From a copy of Sir Thomas Lawrence's (P.R. A.) portrait, by R. 
R. Reinagle, R.A., belonging to the Newcastle Liberal Club. 

SIR J. E. SWINBURNE, BART., F.R.S. AND F.S.A. 

From a portrait by T. Phillips, R.A., belonging to the Literary 
and Philosophical Society. 

THE DUKE OF SUSSEX, K.G. . . • • • 

From a portrait by Richard Wilson, belonging to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. 

FRONT VIEW OF THE SOCIETY'S BUILDING 

CHARLES HUTTON, LL.D., F.R.S. .... 

From a portrait by Andrew Morton, belonging to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. 

THOMAS DOUBLEDAY ...••* 
From a photograph in the possession of Philip Wood, Esq., Head 
Master of the Darlington Grammar School. 

WILLIAM KENNETH LOFTUS . . • • • 

From a photograph in the possession of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society. 

DR. HEADLAM ...•••' 
From a silhouette in the possession of the Author. 



PAGE 
10 



34 



58 



68 



72 



82 



92 



100 



104 



108 



120 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

JOSEPH WATSON . . 

From a photograph in the possession of the Author. 

GEORGE STEPHENSON ...... 

From the copy of a portrait by John Lucas made by C. A. Mitchell, 
and by him presented to the Literary and Philosophical Society. 

ROBERT STEPHENSON, M.P., F.R.S. 

From a portrait by John Lucas, in the possession of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society. 

THE REV. E. MOISES . ..... 

From a portrait by Mr. Andrews, belonging to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. 

INTERIOR OF THE OLD LIBRARY .... 

INTERIOR OF THE NEW WING OF THE LIBRARY 

FACSIMILE OF DR. KATTERFELTO'S BILL OF LECTURE 
ANNOUNCEMENTS . . . . 

THE REV. WILLIAM TURNER ..... 
From a portrait by Andrew Morton, belonging to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. 

HUGH LEE PATTINSON ...... 

From a portrait by T. Carrick, belonging to Mrs. W. W. 
Pattinson. 

THOMAS SOPWITH, F.R.S. 

From a photograph belonging to Mrs. Sopwith. 

JOHN COLLING WOOD BRUCE, D.C.L., LL.D. 
From a photograph. 

JOHN CLAYTON, F.S.A. . 

From a portrait by H. T. Wells, R.A., belonging to the Corpora- 
tion of Newcastle. 



XI 

PAGE 
146 



168 



174 



182 
196 

206 

222 



228 



244 



248 



256 



»^ 



xu 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, 



* 



I 



EARL GREY, PRIME MINISTER IN 1832 

From a portrait by J. Ramsay, belonging to the Literary and 
Philosophical Society. 

T. M. GREENHOW ...... 

From a photograph in the possession of Dr. Philipson. 

NICHOLAS WOOD, C.E., F.R.S. ..... 

From a portrait by R. Turner, belonging to the Mining Institute. 

THOMAS BEWICK ...... 

From a portrait by T. J. Good, belonging to the Natural History 
Society. 



THE RUINS, FEBRUARY 8tH, 1 893 

From a photograph by Mr. F. Park, of Collingwood Street. 



PAGE 
262 



270 



282 



296 



ALBANY HANCOCK . . . • • -3^° 

From a photograph in the possession of the Natural History 
Society. 

JOHN HANCOCK . . . . • . 312 

From a portrait by F. H. Michael, belonging to the Natural 
History Society. 

JOHN BUBBLE .....•• 3'^ 

From a portrait by J. Ramsay, belonging to the Mining Institute. 

LORB ARMSTRONG, C.B., F.R.S. .... 32O 

From a portrait by M. L. Waller, belonging to the Corporation 
of Newcastle. 



322 



It was intended that a portrait of the Rev. James Snape, D.D., should have 
appeared among the illustrations. A lithograph was kindly furnished by the Rev. 
R. W. Snape for this purpose. It has been unfortunately mislaid, to the Author's 
great regret. 

The statement on page no, that the Society has no portrait of Thomas Bewick, 
is incorrect. 





CHx\PTER I. 

NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO, 

CENTURY ago Newcastle-upon-Tyne was fully 
recognised as a great industrial centre. Thanks 
to the proximity of the Northern coal-field, which 
ii^had from time immemorial been the most impor- 
tant in Great Britain, it had many centuries of more than local 
fame to look back upon. Since the twenty-eighth year of 
Henry III.'s reign (1244 A.D.) it had been governed by a Mayor 
chosen by the burgesses ; and Henry IV., in the last year of the 
fourteenth century, conferred upon it all the privileges of a 
distinct county with its own Lord Lieutenant, Sheriff, and 
Magistrates : it should " be a county of itself with the title of 
the County of the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne." Although 
it has possessed this dignity ever since, for seven hundred years, 
persons may even yet be found who speak of it as in the county 
of Northumberland ! 

Placed upon the northern side of a steep, deep, and richly- 
wooded glen ; connected with its opposite neighbour, little 

I 



•I 

! 



J . 



NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO, 



Gateshead (inaptly, perhaps, described as " a dirty lane leading 
to Newcastle "), by a handsome stone bridge crossing the broad, 
clear, and beautiful river Tyne, the abode of lordly salmon and 
delicious trout; rejoicing in a bright and dry atmosphere ; swept 
by bracing but not unkindly breezes ; and with a variable yet, 
on the whole, genial climate ; it was truly a pleasant habitation. 
In 1759, John Wesley had written of it: "Certainly, if I did 
not believe there was another world, I would spend all 
my summers here, as I know no place in Great Britain 
comparable to it for pleasantness." At that time there were 
probably some thirty thousand people in the canny old town 
and Gateshead, who had, as they best might, to reconcile the 
spending of all their summers there with such belief in another 
world as was vouchsafed to them. Nearer to the close of last 
century, another writer called it " an ancient, large, disagreeable, 
and dirty town." Even at the present day those who are so 
fortunate as to inhabit it would dispute the accuracy of such 
a description. But no one could deny the correctness of the 
"Town Improvement Act" of 1786, which declared in its 
preamble that "the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the 
county of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is very large and populous." 
It was a walled town, and had been walled since the earliest 
years of its existence. We know, indeed, nothing of it when it 
was the Pons M\\\ of the Romans or the monastic Monkchester, 
but most of it may well have been contained within the walls 
which surrounded the castle garth, the yard of the new castle 
which Robert Courthose began to build in the year 1080. 
Finished by William Rufus, that new castle soon looked down 
upon a spreading town, the growth of which was favoured and 
fostered by succeeding monarchs. Its position near the " gate 
of Scotland " gave it a special importance, for the restlessness 
of their Scotch neighbours demanded constant care on the part 



NE WCA STLE A CENTUR Y AGO. 3 

of the dwellers in the chief Border town of England. In the 
reign of Edward I. the Newcastle people began to construct 
new walls, eight feet thick and twelve feet high, which had 
strong turrets at every angle, and important towers, of pleasing 
variety of design and dimensions, at each of the different en- 
trances to the town. At least one of these, the Newgate, was 
itself a great castle, having its moat and drawbridge, as well as 
the heavy gate and portcullis which were common to all the 
towers alike. Writing in the middle of the sixteenth century, 
Leland says, " The strength and magnificense of the waulling of 
this towne far passith al the waulles of the cities of England, 
and most of the townes of Europe." Excepting towards the 
river, these walls and towers were still perfect a century ago. 
The Quay side portion had been removed in 1762. The last to 
be completed, in Edward III.'s reign, it was the first to be taken 
down ; the Privy Council ordering its destruction upon the 
petition of the Corporation, which stated that it was no longer of 
any use for defence, but a very great obstruction to carriages 
and hindrance to the despatch of business. Some of the town 
gates began to give trouble upon market-days and during festival 
seasons, and our Scotch neighbours acquired the art of getting 
the better of us by gentler means, so that only a few relics of the 
ancient defences of the town now remain. 

There was but little building outside the walls a century ago. 
The town might fairly be described as having been enclosed by 
them ; and within the enclosure there was room for the crofts, 
fields, and gardens, which, with their abundant trees, gave the 
quaint old Border stronghold its unique charm. It was indeed, 
a few years earlier, "a place of broad rivers and streams." 
Where Dean Street now stands, the Lorke Burn flowed down to 
join the Tyne, its steep and dangerous banks being crossed by 
stone bridges, the Upper Dean Bridge and the Low Bridge, the 



4 



NE WCA S TL E A CENTUR Y AGO. 



latter not being removed until the year 1788 to allow of the 
opening of the new street. Grey states in his CJiorograpJiia that the 
Picts Wall came over the " neather Deane Bridge, and that boats 
came under it from the river, and so along into Pandon, as 
appears by the rings that in many places are to be seen at this 
day" (1649). These boats brought wares and commodities for 
the merchants whose shops and warehouses were in the Flesh 
Market. The site of the arch still bears the name of the " Low 
Bridge," and Bourne thinks that the adjoining Painter Fleugh 
preserves the memory of the time when boats used to be moored 
to the heugh, haugh, or steep side of the stream by ropes 
fastened to their bows, and yet known as painters. But so far 
as I have been able to ascertain, there is no evidence that the 
term "painter" was applied to boat ropes until a comparatively 
recent date, whereas the name " Paynter Hugh " is said to have 
occurred in a deed once preserved in the vestry of All Saints' 
Church, and of the year 1373. On the other hand, a place at 
the north of this lane still known as Painter Heugh was called 
" Pencher Place," and the Paynter of 1373 may well have been 
the Pencher of a yet earlier date.* 

A century ago, the Sandhill — once a naked hill of sand 
" where were wont to assemble the inhabitants for their recrea- 
tion " — was the great market-place of the town ; and round it, 
and along the Close, many of the principal inhabitants of the 
town, and some of the county nobility and gentry, had handsome 
dwelling-houses. There, too, stood the stately Mansion House, 
built in 1 69 1 at a cost of ;^6ooo, with its terrace overlooking the 



* It is, perhaps, dangerous to remind the reader that we have a Penshaw, 
or Pencher, in the County of Durham, which, it is claimed, derives its name 
from the British word Pen, a hill, and the old English word Scua, a shade, 
and thus a shaded place, a wooded place ; or, possibly, the British word 
Sceach, a bramble. 





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4 NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO. 

latter not being removed until the year 1788 to allow of the 
opening of the new street. Grey states in his CJiorographia that the 
Picts Wall came over the " neather Deane Bridge, and that boats 
came under it from the river, and so along into Pandon, as 
appears by the rings that in many places are to be seen at this 
day" (1649). These boats brought wares and commodities for 
the merchants whose shops and warehouses were in the Flesh 
Market. The site of the arch still bears the name of the " Low 
Bridge," and Bourne thinks that the adjoining Painter Heugh 
preserves the memory of the time when boats used to be moored 
to the heugh, haugh, or steep side of the stream by ropes 
fastened to their bows, and yet known as painters. But so far 
as I have been able to ascertain, there is no evidence that the 
term "painter" was applied to boat ropes until a comparatively 
recent date, whereas the name " Paynter Hugh " is said to have 
occurred in a deed once preserved in the vestry of All Saints' 
Church, and of the year 1373. On the other hand, a place at 
the north of this lane still known as Painter Heugh was called 
" Pencher Place," and the Paynter of 1373 may well have been 
the Pencher of a yet earlier date.* 

A century ago, the Sandhill — once a naked hill of sand 
" where were wont to assemble the inhabitants for their recrea- 
tion " — was the great market-place of the town ; and round it, 
and along the Close, many of the principal inhabitants of the 
town, and some of the county nobility and gentry, had handsome 
dwelling-houses. There, too, stood the stately Mansion House, 
built in 1 69 1 at a cost of ;^6ooo, with its terrace overlooking the 



* It is, perhaps, dangerous to remind the reader that we have a Penshaw, 
or Pencher, in the County of Durham, which, it is claimed, derives its name 
from the British word Pen, a hill, and the old English word Scua, a shade, 
and thus a shaded place, a wooded place; or, possibly, the British word 



Sceach, a bramble. 




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NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO, 



river, and the broad flight of steps leading down to the spot 
where the somewhat gaudy Corporation barge lay moored, which 
proved so dangerous an attraction to " my Lord *Size." Here 
did successive mayors exercise great, and at times inconvenient, 
civic hospitality, towards which the town contributed ;^2000 
a year and an extensive cellar of choice wines. The Guildhall, 
in which the courts were held, stood between the Sandhill and 
the river, almost exactly opposite to the picturesque house 
whence "on the night of the i8th November, 1772, Miss Bessie 
Surtees descended by a ladder into the arms of her lover, from 
a window," and the future Lord Eldon, then plain John Scott, 
bore her safely " o'er the Borders and awa'." That early hours 
were the fashion in those days is shown by one of the old rules 
of the Burgess and Non-Burgess Courts, which provided that 
solicitors attending them were not to appear in their dressing- 
gowns and slippers. The town was for the first time lighted by 
oil lamps and a regular nightly watch established in 1763. 

I have said that at times the hospitality of the Mansion 
House was so great as to be inconvenient I may illustrate this 
by the tale which used to be told about a worthy alderman who, 
having built a house on the top of the steep bank north of the 
Close, and near Hanover Square, with a garden running down 
the bank, found himself seriously inconvenienced by the volumes 
of black smoke which constantly issued from the Mansion 
House chimneys. Remonstrances having proved of no avail, he 
at length sued the Mayor and Corporation for damages. The 
great Henry Brougham, or "Hairy Brum," as the Newcastle 
folk fondly called him, was then the leader of the Northern 
Circuit, and he was duly retained for the defendant authorities. 
But alas ! when injured Alderman S. was in the witness-box, 
and was arousing the sympathies of his fellow-townsmen in the 
jury-box with a detailed recital of how his health and that of 



6 NE WCA S TLB A CENTUR Y A GO, 

his wife and family had been rudely shattered by the perpetual 
smoke, the learned leader seemed to be wrapped in profound 
and peaceful sleep. His wig was over his eyes, his hands were 
where his pockets would have embraced them nowadays, his 
head nodded gently as though in unconscious acquiescence. At 
length, the examination in chief being finished, it was time for 
the alderman's cross-examination to begin. His junior must at 
all hazards arouse the chief, and gently whispered into the ear 
of the all-but-lost leader, who was at once on his feet. Pushing 
back his wig and staring strangely round the court as one who 
awaketh from a dream, his eye fell on Alderman S., whom 
he had met once before at an Assize Ball. " Ah! Alderman S., I 
hope you're very well?" Delighted at the friendly recogni- 
tion, the unsuspecting alderman replied, " Quite well, sir, quite : 
thank you very much." "And Mrs. S.?" The yet more 
delighted alderman, " Oh yes, sir, indeed : it's very good of 
you to remember her. She never was better in her life." 
" And your family ? " " Yes, yes, perfectly well, perfectly well. 
I shall never forget your kindness." " Ah, yes ! you may stand 
down." The damages are said to have been nominal. 

Nearly all of the traffic by land between Scotland and 
that part of England which is now served by the East Coast 
railways had to come down the precipitous Bottle Bank in 
Gateshead, and up the narrow and tortuous Side, the principal 
street of Newcastle, picturesque enough, but decidedly incon- 
venient. At the top of that steep and difficult thoroughfare 
stood the "Cock" tavern, whence the mail, the only coach 
between Newcastle and London, started three times a week, 
making the journey in two nights and three days. Nearly two 
days were required to reach Edinburgh, and eighteen hours 
were all too few for crossing the island to Carlisle. Gigs or 
comfortables conveyed passengers by land to the towns near 



NE WCA S TIE A CENTUR Y AGO. 7 

the mouth of the river, and wherries carried those who preferred 
the passage by water. Persons who could not walk or ride on 
horseback were borne in sedan-chairs from one part of the town 
to another. These chairs were still occasionally used half a 
century ago, and had certain advantages. The lady who, 
" going out to cards or tea," wished to avoid damp feet, stepped 
into her chair in her own hall, and out of it in that of her 
entertainer, without the least exposure to the elements — a 
luxury unknown in our advanced days. 

It seems to us, as we look backwards, that life a century ago 
must have been a quiet, slow, rather easy performance, with 
neither telegrams nor telephones, with eightpence to pay on 
every half-ounce London letter, and only weekly newspapers. 
But, as I have said, Newcastle was already, and had been for 
centuries, an important industrial centre. She had almost as much 
communication by land with the rest of the country as any other 
large town, and much more by water than even most seaports. 
The water transit was better adapted for goods than for persons, 
for the delays were sometimes prolonged. Thomas Bewick was 
a month upon the voyage when he first visited London in 1776. 
The custom was to make a bargain with the captain of a 
" coaster " to take you up for a certain sum (usually a guinea), 
all found, and, when the chances of contrary winds or calms are 
taken into consideration, the charges were not exorbitant. 

It is difficult to speak with certainty of the actual amount of 
work done by sea in connection with the port of Tyne a 
century ago. I find it stated in 1772 that no fewer than 950 
ships then entered our port annually ; but our fine local song, 
"Canny Newcassel," was written in 18 18, and it says — 

" Wiv uz, man, three hundred ships sail iv a tide." 

Perhaps we might take a medium course between these two 



n 



NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO, 



statements to get at a reasonable approximation to the fact for 
1793. A^ ^^^ events, at the earlier date it was also written : — 

" The trade and shipping of this place are very considerable, 
and have always made it of the utmost consequence. Besides 
its necessary services in supplying a great part of the nation 
with coals, etc, and the very great revenues arising from thence, 
it is of the greatest consequence as a nursery for brave and 
hardy seamen who have always struck such a terror into the 
hearts of all the enemies of Great Britain, that, whenever a 
rupture happened with any foreign power, attacks upon this 
branch of commerce and body of men were always studiously 
avoided. 

"Besides the home and coast trade, the foreign trade of 
Newcastle, in general, is with Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, 
Germany, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Poland; 
besides occasional ships to and from America, the West Indies, 
etc., and four or five fitted out every season for the Greenland 
fishery. The manufacture of steel and both cast and wrought 
iron in this neighbourhood are very considerable ; that for 
wrought iron, at Swalwell, about three miles from Newcastle, up 
the river, commonly called Crawley's Works, being the greatest 
in England. Here is also a considerable manufactory of broad 
and narrow woollen cloth (in Gateshead), and two sugar-houses 
which have been established here for some time. Likewise two 
public offices of insurance upon ships and merchandise, and 
three printing offices whose weekly newspapers circulate several 
hundred miles." 

There was also a dark side to the life of this district at the 
time of which I write. The punishment of death was inflicted 
with startling frequency for crimes against property. The 
stocks were in frequent use. On 23rd October, 1790, "a woman 
was exalted on a pillory erected on purpose, in the centre of the 



NE WCA S TLE A CENTUR Y AGO. 9 

Sandhill, for perjury. She was exhibited from twelve o'clock 
to one o'clock." The terrible scourge of the pressgang was 
constantly at work, at times arousing bitter but ineffectual 
resistance. On the 26th April, 1793, "most extraordinary 
preparations for impressing were made by the crews of the 
armed vessels lying in Shields harbour. That night the regi- 
ment at Tynemouth barracks was drawn up and formed into 
a cordon round North Shields to prevent any person from 
escaping. The different pressgangs then began, when sailors, 
mechanics, labourers, and men of every description, to the 
amount of two hundred and fifty, were forced on board the 
armed ships." How many of those stolen men ever again saw 
wife, or child, or home ? 

Only the year before, "a petition to parliament was agreed on 
by the inhabitants of Newcastle and Gateshead, for the abolition 
of the slave-trade. The whole kingdom appeared at this time 
to be interested in the degraded state of the poor blacks. 
Newcastle, in particular, has ever been foremost in craving 
parliament to exert its powers, and do away with that traffic in 
human flesh." But there was no petition for the poor whites, 
the " brave and hardy seamen," and yet the poet had said — 

" Skins may differ, but affection 
Dwells in white and black the same." 

Highwaymen were not unknown : so near to us as on Gates- 
head Fell even the royal mail being robbed. And in public 
places in our city quack doctors were permitted to place them- 
selves, and young women " troubled with a scorbutic disorder," 
naked in the earth, and covered up to their lips, from noon to 
six o'clock at night, in the presence of "great numbers who 
attended to see this curious exhibition." 

But we need not dwell too much upon this dark side of our 



lO 



NE I VGA S TLE A CRN TUR Y AGO. 



local life a century ago. Where and when shall we look upon 
the shield of human existence which is gold throughout? No 
doubt in some things we are better than our fathers. It would 
take away the chief inducement to endeavour, if this were not 
so. More especially has the lot of the poor amongst us gone 
through a mighty change for the better. But w^e are constrained 
to admit thU we have lost something in making the gain — 

"E'en though better follow, good must pass," 

and with the disappearance of the quaint old houses, and keels, 
and hustings, and stately processions to meet the judges, much 
of the picturesqueness has gone out of life. Look at the 
delightful old picture of " Some Newcastle Worthies," which is 
one of the recent acquisitions of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, and see the 'Change as it once was, and you will be 
constrained to admit that this is really so. 

Thus then, a century ago, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, without 
railways, steamers, trams, hansom or other cabs, penny post, 
telegrams, telephones, gas, electric light, daily papers, lucifer 
matches, primary schools, workhouses, policemen, grain w^are- 
houses, docks, slipways, High Level or Redheugh bridges, 
Elswick works, public libraries, town council, board of guardians, 
school board, trade unions, household franchise, building 
societies, co-operative stores, gin palaces, lunatic as) lums, or 
other nineteenth century Jin-de'Siecie joys or sorrows, was a busy 
and important place, with, for that period, somewhat unusual 
facilities of communication with the rest of the world. She had 
abundantly shown that she was fully abreast of other places in 
the mental activity of her inhabitants. At one time, about the 
date of George IIl.'s accession to the throne (1760), there were 
at the Newcastle Grammar School, under the tuition of the Rev. 
Hugh Moises, two brothers Scott, William and John, and " a 




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NE IV CA S TLE A CEN TUR Y AGO. 



I 



local life a century ago. Where and when shall we look upon 
the shield of human existence which is gold throughout? No 
doubt in some things w^e are better than our fathers. It would 
take away the chief inducement to endeavour, if this were not 
so. More especially has the lot of the poor amongst us gone 
through a mighty change for the better. But we are constrained 
to admit th ^t we have lost something in making the gain — 

" E'en though better follow, good must pass," 

and with the disappearance of the quaint old houses, and keels, 
and hustings, and stately processions to meet the judges, much 
of the picturesqueness has gone out of life. Look at the 
delightful old picture of " Some Newcastle Worthies," which is 
one of the recent acquisitions of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, and see the 'Change as it once was, and you will be 
constrained to admit that this is really so. 

Thus then, a century ago, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, without 
railways, steamers, trams, hansom or other cabs, penny post, 
telegrams, telephones, gas, electric light, daily papers, lucifer 
matches, primary schools, workhouses, policemen, grain w^are- 
houses, docks, slipways. High Level or Redheugh bridges, 
Elswick works, public libraries, town council, board of guardians, 
school board, trade unions, household franchise, building 
societies, co-operative stores, gin palaces, lunatic as} lums, or 
other nineteenth ccniMry Jin-de-siccle joys or sorrows, was a busy 
and important place, wath, for that period, somewhat unusual 
facilities of communication with the rest of the world. She had 
abundantly shown that she was fully abreast of other places in 
the mental activity of her inhabitants. At one time, about the 
date of George III.'s accession to the throne (1760), there were 
at the Newcastle Grammar School, under the tuition of the Rev. 
Hugh Moises, two brothers Scott, William and John, and " a 




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NEWCASTLE A CENTURY AGO, 



II 



pretty and gentle boy," somewhat their junior, Cuthbert Collincr- 
wood. They were all to achieve great things, and to attain 
high rank amongst England's noblest sons. William Scott, 
better known to history as Lord Stowell, presided over the 
High Court of Admiralty at a time when " England became 
the sole occupant of the sea, and held at her girdle the keys of 
all the harbours upon the globe." He framed and established a 
just and comprehensive system of maritime law, in decisions 
which are remarkable alike for their logical acumen and their 
classical style, and which have been accepted as having authority 
by every civilised nation in the world. His younger brother, 
John Scott, who became Lord Eldon in 1799, when he was 
made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, held the proud office 
of Lord High Chancellor of England for a longer period than 
any other person before or since, "and, during a quarter of a 
century exercised an influence almost unprecedented in the 
Cabinets of successive Sovereigns." And Cuthbert Colling- 
vvood,— the simple sailor, the stainless soul, the great admiral, 
who sleeps in St. Paul's Cathedral by the side of his not greater 
comrade. Lord Nelson,— combining loyalty to duty with courage 
and gentle courtesy, gave to our history one of the most heroic 
and beautiful lives which its pages record. 

But, a century ago, a change, undreamed of by any of the 
men whom I have named, was already beginning to show itself— 
a change which was to pass over the spirit of the world. The 
mighty deeds of the future were to be those, not of the lawyer 
or the warrior, but of the man of science, still looked upon but 
as an idle dreamer or a machine-maker a century ago. No 
small share in those mighty deeds was to fall to our good old 
town, and in the brilliant scientific achievements of her most 
distinguished sons, the Society whose story I am to tell has 
borne an honourable part. 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



13 






CHAPTER II. 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 







OR England and France the eighteenth century was a 
period of mental emancipation, which resulted for both 
in a new life in all departments of thought, and ulti- 
mately for both in political revolution and the partial reformation 
of society. In looking back upon great movements, accidental or 
abnormal phases of an exceptional and transitory character are 
apt to claim an undue proportion of the view. The long period 
of incubation, the many patient processes of preparation, the 
gradual growth and fructification of the mental seed, are too 
often lost sight of, to the injury of truth. Thus comes the too 
popular idea that Nature delights to indulge in spasms, to work 
by fits and starts, rather than to carry forward, slowly but con- 
stantly and certainly, quiet, orderly, and continuous operations. 

And thus the brutal excesses of the later years of the French 
Revolution forced themselves upon the attention of all men, and 
hid the wholly beneficent operations of the earlier years of that 
mighty event. The indignation and horror which such orgies 
of blood-thirstiness aroused, prevented the observation that they 
were but the inevitable outburst of accumulated and violently 
restrained beliefs — beliefs as to man's position on earth, the real 
nature of government, and the like, — the outbreak necessarily 



consequent upon the mad attempt to check the general 
tendency towards freedom which had been growing in strength 
and intensity, and becoming more widely diffused throughout 
the century. This tendency had been fostered and developed 
by the influence of English thought upon the French mind. 
Half a century before the commencement of this great period. 
Englishmen had gone through the intense and actual struggle 
which attends, in a progressive country, the permanent limita- 
tion of the kingly power. Their philosophers had availed 
themselves of the comparative licence to publish freely that 
which was in them which, in its fulness, Milton had pleaded for 
so nobly ; and which, though as compared with that of the 
present day but slight, appeared complete and wonderful when 
contrasted with the censorious repression which prevailed in 
France. Here the right and reason of all things were widely 
canvassed, but the minds of the great English thinkers were 
especially turned to political and economic questions, and even 
upon these, though with many restrictions, they had much free- 
dom of thought and! expression ; and thus from France the men 
of thought, who had yet to see and learn what freedom meant, 
poured into England in great numbers. "The civilised world 
was restless with dreams of political emancipation ; it trembled 
with expectation of a deliverance yet to come." And because, 
here in England, although not without some peril of pains and 
penalties, men had long been used to think for themselves and 
to speak out their thoughts, England became, as it were, a 
school for French thinkers in every department of investigation. 
" During the two generations which elapsed between the death 
of Louis XIV. and the outbreak of the Revolution, there was 
hardly a Frenchman of eminence who did not either visit 
England or learn English ; while many of them did both." 

It has indeed been brought as a kind of charge against 



* . 



14 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



IS 



I 






*l; 



the mental character of the English people that, whilst the 
philosophy of the eighteenth century was born there, it could 
only be developed in France ; that in England there was much 
speculation but it was divorced from even the idea of practical 
application, whilst in France the two were ever united. But 
surely this is a somewhat too impatient manner of looking at 
such a question. It is not the fact that the French came to 
England empty. On the contrary, they were filled with new 
ideas and came to men filled with new ideas, and it was not the 
case of master and pupil between the two, but rather that of the 
flashes of soul light struck out by the friendly but fearless 
attrition of equal minds. The result was reached more quickly 
in France, more surely in England. The hasty eagerness for 
immediate application of the new ideas bore fruit in the 
Revolution ; their patient and gradual enforcement in the 
Reform Bill of 1832. 

The mental ferment in England was by no means confined 
to the metropolis. On the contrary, philosophical investigations 
were widely indulged in, and questions of the first political 
importance were debated, in many different parts of the country. 
Indeed, the Government of the day concerned itself very much 
about the amount of argument which went forward everywhere, 
and laws were repeatedly passed to regulate and restrain the 
Debating Societies of that day, which would have been as useful 
and as void of ofience as those of our day if the Government 
had wisely let them alone. Some of the questions discussed, 
and which related to what we now speak of as "the Land 
Question,*' were treated of from points of view not widely 
dissimilar to those of Mr. Henry George or Mr. Alfred Russel 
Wallace, and one of these discussions gave considerable trouble 
and annoyance to our Literary and Philosophical Society in its 
youthful days. As even yet the story is not infrequently told 



incorrectly, it is perhaps worth while to set out the truth about 
it in this introductory chapter. 

Amongst the eminent Frenchmen who visited England 
towards the close of last century was " People's Friend " Marat. 
He settled down for some time in Newcastle as a veterinary 
surgeon, and it is probable that he there wrote his C/tains of 
Slavery in English. In 1774 it was published anonymously, 
but in the following year it came out with the author's name, 
and was advertised on the 28th of October and the 4th of 
November in the following manner : — 

This day is published, price los. 6d., 

And sold by J. Almon in Piccadilly ; T. Slack, W. Charnley, 

and E. Humble, in Newcastle; J. Graham, in Sunderland; 

J. Pickering, in Stockton ; N. Thorn, in Durham ; E. Lee, in 

Hexham ; and A. Graham, in Alnwick, 

THE CHAINS OF SLAVERY: 

A work in which the clandestine and villainous attempts of 
Princes to ruin Liberty are pointed out, and the dreadful scenes 

of Despotism disclosed. 

To which is prefixed, 

An Address to the Electors of Great Britain, in order to draw 

timely attention to the choice of proper representatives. 

By J. T. Marat, M.D. 

Vitam wipendere vero. 

Whether the one had or had not anything to do with the 
other I cannot say, but upon March 15th, 1775, a small Philo- 
sophical Society, for the consideration of questions of mental 
and social philosophy, was started in Newcastle. It held its 
meetings somewhere in Westgate Street, but its deliberations 
do not appear to have been very attractive, for it never had 



i' 



i < 



f^ 



-*"V 



iM 



IM 



,5 OUR PREDECESSORS. 

more than twenty members, and it would have been unknown 
to fame if it had not chanced to include amongst them a 
certain Thomas Spence, who is not yet forgotten, and who still 

has followers. 

The Society was too painfully didactic for its own or any 
other day, as the questions discussed at the first two meetings 
show pretty plainly. At the first gathering, after a lecture 
the title of which is fortunately swallowed up in night had 
been delivered, the subject of debate was : " Which of two 
persons, equally qualified, is most likely to attain first to a 
distinct knowledge of any intricate subject, he who searches 
into it by contemplation and the help of books only, or he 
who attends a well-regulated society, where the subject is freely 
debated, as a question, on both sides, or demonstrated by the 
joint endeavours of the members?" "After being ably dis- 
cussed for about two hours, the question was at last determined 
in favour of the latter proposition." Very right and natural, 
and quite to be expected : " our noble selves." 

The second problem was as priggish as the first : *' Whether 
does an exquisite sensibility of mind make for or against the 
happiness of the possessor ? " 

These are emphatically the questions which, at all events 
in this country, can only be discussed with relish and eagerness 
by very young men who have not come much into contact with 
actual life, or learned how vain a thing disputation is. There 
is a time for mental exercitation of the kind, which most 
mortals pass through, most thinking mortals, just as there is a 
time for writing the youthful verse which all ends in the grave 
or heaven. These are, like the distemper with puppies, or the 
chicken-pox or measles with children, incident to young healthy 
life, and need not give alarm to the most anxious parents. 
They may safely be left to the vis medicatrix Natures, 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



17 



But these considerations make it less likely, although of 
course it is still possible that, as has been frequently suggested, 
Marat himself was the instigator, if not the founder, of this 
Society, or, at all events, attended its early meetings. This is 
simply a supposition. There is no evidence whatever upon the 
matter. But it is rather interesting to note that, on the 25th 
October, 1775, the question brought forward for discussion was, 
" Which is the better form of Government, a Limited Monarchy, 
as in Great Britain, or a Republic?" and a majority of two 
decided that " a Republic might be formed productive of more 
real advantage to the governed than can be effected by a 
Limited Monarchy like our own." We shall hear more of this 
Society shortly in connection with the Thomas Spence who, 
as I have mentioned, was one of its members. We shall see 
how, like some other societies and multitudes of individuals, 
these philosophers had no objection to a wide and general pro- 
position, but how they shrank terrified from any attempt to 
carry their theories into practice, or, it might be more correct to 
say, to develop them in specific directions. 

Thomas Spence was born on the Quayside of Newcastle on 
the 21st June, 1750, his mother being an Orkney woman, the 
second wife of an Aberdonian who was blessed with nineteen 
children. Thomas became a clerk in a merchant's oflfice, but 
was one of those singular youths who are filled with ideas. In 
very early life he constructed a phonetic alphabet which had 
forty letters, each of which was to represent a separate and distinct 
sound. This he expounded in the " Grand Repository of the 
English Language," published by subscription, and in the 
"Repository of Common Sense and Innocent Amusement," 
which he brought out in penny numbers. This latter work 
was given to the public before the author was twenty-five 
years old. 

2 



fi 



i8 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



We learn the most about him from his friend Thomas 
Bewick, who would seem to have been brought into contact with 
him when cutting the steel punches for his types. Bewick says 
of him, " He was one of the warmest philanthropists of the day. 
The happiness of mankind appeared to absorb with him every 
other consideration." 

He was just the man to become a member of any philo- 
sophical society, for amongst his most cherished ideas was 
that of property in land being every man's right, and before the 
Newcastle Society was eight months old we find him bringing 
his favourite thesis before it We know nothing of how it was 
received, but we do know that he printed and published it, 
apparently immediately after reading it to the Society. This gave 
dire offence, and his fellow-members, with due solemnity, on the 
22nd of the same month (November, 1775), "expelled Mr. Thomas 
Spence for publishing without and against the approbation of the 
Society a lecture with the title of * Property in Land every 
One's Right,' which he had delivered at a former meeting, of 
which they disclaim all patronage, being informed that he had 
previous to the lecture read it in different public-houses, and 
became a member, apparently, for the purpose of intruding 
upon the world the ERRONEOUS and dangerous levelling prin- 
ciples with which the lecture is replete, under the sanction of 

the Society.'* 

Happy public-houses! Alas, poor Society! And it lives 
now in the recollection of any portion of mankind only because 
of this paper, cast forth as an abominable thing ; and it died 
speedily after it got rid of the author, as it ought to have died, — 
but when — no man knows or cares. 

I have recently come across the rules of this Philosophical 
Society, which was indeed only an early debating society, and I 
think that it is worth while to quote one or two of them, for they 



r ii 
li jl 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



19 



throw some light on the mental attitude of those young people 
who were, at this interesting period, so far advanced as to wish 
to belong to such a body, but who were otherwise staid and 
respectable members of society generally. 

The rules in question were adopted on 13th February, 1777, 
" by the Society, Westgate Street, Newcastle," and were evidently 
prepared with direct reference to Mr. Spence's paper read and 
condemned fifteen months previously. 

" The intention of this Society is, to enable its Members to 
speak with Facility on every Subject that comes before them, to 
collect and arrange their Ideas, and not to admit, without 
Examination, the Force of any Argument however specious : to 
accomplish these Purposes, the Members of this Society propose, 
each night of meeting, to discuss some Question, or elucidate 
some Proposition, with all the Freedom of Debate that is con- 
sistent with a decent Attention to those established Opinions, on 
the Belief of which the Welfare of Society in a great measure 
depends." 

Good, sound, sensible young people ! It is self-evident that 
Marat and Spence were no fitting comrades for such as you. 
"If these things be done in the green tree, what shall be done in 
the dry : " if these were the youth of that fin-de-siecle, what 
were the old fogies like ? 

" Oh, *tis hard to believe that our parents were so good, 
So ridiculously good, so preposterously good ;" 

but they understood, at all events, the art of making smooth the 
outside of the cup and the platter. 

"The Utility of a well-regulated Institution of this Nature will 
scarce be denied, but some Objections have arisen from the 
Conduct of other Societies established with similar Intentions, 
which are too well founded not to require some Notice. 



II, 



i 



i 



20 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



p 



" The most important of these Objections are, that Meetings 
of this kind too frequently degenerate to drinking Clubs, and 
that they become Schools of Sedition and Infidelity ; to obviate 
the first, it will be sufficient to observe, that the Meetings of this 
Society are held in a private House, and every Sort of Liquor 
absolutely excluded, and Precaution is taken to prevent the 
second, by admitting no Question till it is allowed to be fit for 
Debate, by a Majority of Opinions taken by Ballot ; by which 
means, there is an Opportunity to reject any Subject, which 
might lead to Arguments, too freely and incautiously calling 
in Question, the fundamental Principles of Religion or good 
Government. And, that no imputation of Vanity may arise to 
the Society for the Name they have assumed, they wish to have 
it understood that they adopt the original meaning of the Word 
PHILOSOPHY, which implies the Desire not the Possession of 
Wisdom." 

A priggish, conservative sort of society, with plenty of 
limitations, but unsparingly liberal in the use of commas and 
capital letters. They met every Thursday evening at six, and 
parted at eight ; each member subscribed 6d. a night to meet 
expenses "and support a fund for charitable purposes;" 
speeches were limited to eight minutes each, but a member 
might speak any number of times; and there was power of 
expulsion, the general causes being "attempting to injure the 
Society by Scandalous Aspersions, refusing to comply with its 
Rules, or outrageously violating good Order and Decorum." 

This was clearly too respectable a body for a man of original 
thought, erratic ways, and short temper, like Thomas Spence. It 
was quite too good to live, and the gods took it early. 

Thomas Spence had given up clerking, and had become a 
schoolmaster in the Broad Garth, and, in order to make 
converts to his views, he started a debating society of young 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



21 



men, who met in the evenings in his school-room. Like 
certain other great reformers, he was rather impatient of oppo- 
sition. " One night," says Thomas Bewick, " when his favourite 
question was to be debated, he reckoned upon me as one of his 
* backers.' In this, however, he was mistaken ; for, notwith- 
standing my tacitly assenting, in a certain degree, to his plan — 
viz., as to the probability of its succeeding in some uninhabitable 
country or island — I could not at all agree with him in thinking 
it right to upset the present state of society by taking from 
people what is their own ; and then, launching out upon his 
speculations, I considered that property ought to be held sacred ; 
and, besides, that the honestly obtaining of it was the great 
stimulant to industry, which kept all things in order, and society 
in full health and vigour. The question having been given 
against him without my having said a word in his defence, he 
became swollen with indignation, which, after the company was 
gone, he vented upon me. To reason with him was useless. 
. . . * If I had been as stout as you are, I would have thrashed 
you ; but there is another way in which I can do the business, 
and have at you.' He then produced a pair of cudgels, and to 
work we fell. He did not know that I was a proficient in 
cudgel-playing, and I soon found out that he was very defective. 
After I had blackened the insides of his thighs and arms, he 
became quite outrageous, and acted very unfairly, which obliged 
me to give him a severe beating." 

This early and novel proof of "Bewick's wood-cuts" fur- 
nishes another evidence of the truth of the famous old line— 

"The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love." 

The friendship between the artist and the philosopher was but 
cemented by their mutually striking arguments. In 1776 
Spence received an appointment as teacher in the Grammar 



li 



•1 



22 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



23 



School at Haydon Bridge, and there Bewick, then twenty-three 
years of age, visited him, and happy times they had, wandering 
through that lovely country which the great artist knew and 
drew so well, and loved so much. But Spence was a restless 
and arbitrary being, as became the inventor of schemes for 
universal and lawless liberty. He removed to London, that 
constant cave of Adullam, where he hailed from the Hive of 
Liberty, No. 8 Little Turnstile, High Holborn, and there he 
brought out a weekly paper, which was illustrated by strange 
plates, and which he called "Pigs' Meat, or Lessons for the 
People, alias (according to Burke) the Swinish Multitude.*' 
Before long he came into direct conflict with the authorities: 
he was fined and imprisoned repeatedly, and on one occasion 
for twelve months ; and, after learning by much and bitter 
experience the inconvenience of being in advance of his time, 
he died on the 5th September, 1814, and his admirers gave 
him a public funeral, and formed a society in his memory, and 
for the discussion and propagation of his views, and called 
themselves the Spenceans, after his honoured name. 

But what was this evil paper, the product of Thomas 
Spence's e«irly days, which sorely troubled the spring-time of 
our Literary and Philosophical Society, and which has quite 
recently been republished by ardent admirers? What was it 
all about ? The title, " Property in Land Every-one's Right," 
has a somewhat philosophical sound in these days, but seemed 
revolutionary enough when it appeared, and revolution was 
what Spence desired. He proposed that landlords should be 
abolished, and that all land should be held by parishes, which 
should have no right of alienation. But the parishes were also 
to have powers which, in the lengthy debates on the Parish 
Councils Act, no one dreamed of asking for them. Every man 
was to have a vote ; each parish was to be a corporation ; the 



h 



land, with all that appertains to it, was to be its property ; and 
it was to have all power over such land, except that of aliena- 
tion. There were to be no more or other landlords in the 
whole country than the parishes, and each of them was to be 
sovereign lord of its own territories. 

The people were to pay their rent into the parish boxes, and 
it was to be employed by each parish " in paying the govern- 
ment its share of the sum which the parliament at any time 
grants ; in maintaining and relieving its own poor, and people 
out of work ; in paying its clergymen, schoolmasters, and 
officers, their salaries; in building, repairing, and adorning its 
houses, bridges, and other structures; in making and main- 
taining canals and other conveniences for trade and navigation ; 
in planting and taking in waste ground ; in providing and 
keeping up a magazine of ammunition and all sorts of arms 
sufficient for all its inhabitants in case of danger from enemies ; 
in premiums for the encouragement of agriculture, or anything 
else thought worthy of encouragement ; and, in a word, in doing 
whatever the people think proper." 

This is a tolerably comprehensive measure of local self- 
government; but Thomas Spence went much further. The ballot 
was always to be used in all voting, in order to avoid animosities. 
" Buildings, clergymen, etc., for the established religion of the 
country were to be maintained by each parish out of its treasury, 
but dissenters, if they set up any other religion, must bear the 
expence of it themselves." But each parish was to have the 
power of putting the laws in force in all cases, even to the 
inflicting of death ; and government was only to interfere when 
any of the parishes acted manifestly to the prejudice of society 
and the rights and liberties of mankind as established in their 
glorious constitution and laws. " For the judgment of a parish 
may be as much depended upon as that of a house of lords. 



II 



24 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



w 



because they have as little to fear from speaking or voting 
according to truth, as they." 

Perhaps it is true that to-day, in this England of ours, 
" a man may speak the thing he will," but, when the eighteenth 
century was beginning to grow old, it required some courage 
to write as Thomas Spence wrote. His paper is well worth 
reading, for it is full of interesting points, and furnishes, in some 
measure, a standard by which we can gauge the progress which 
has been made in the mental attitude of people generally to 
several important questions. Political problems which have, 
even yet, not entered the realm of practical politics, although 
they are in the nearest border-land, were the cause of much 
disturbance in, and were living matters to, one member of a 
speculative society a century and a quarter ago. The world 
of mind moves slowly. Where should we find to-day a man 
who longed to abolish all private holding of land, and who 
would intrust parish councils with absolute power in domestic 
affairs, and who at the same time advocated the more complete 
establishment and endowment of the State Church ? But the 
most valuable feature of the paper is that it clearly shows how 
widely the speculative character of the thought of those times, 
which had so great an effect upon French thinkers, and was to 
develop so rapidly in France into cataclysmal action, had per- 
meated the whole of our country. 

For we may thus take courage, and possess our souls in 
patience, when, from time to time, a rising wave of generous, 
impulsive ignorance of or indifference to facts threatens 
speedily to sweep away every ancient landmark which our 
fathers have set, however necessary for the true steering of 
the ship of the State such landmark may be. Men learn by 
slow degrees that actual life needs actually working machines, 
not successful laboratory experiments. 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



25 



But, for my present purpose, the only important point about 
the reading of an original and flighty paper before this little 
Philosophical Society in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is that our own 
Society had, from the first moment of its existence, to dissociate 
itself entirely from any suspicion of a connection, however slight 
or remote, with that which had numbered amongst its members, 
for however brief a period, so dangerous an innovator as 
Thomas Spence. The appointment of a certain Robert Spence 
as Librarian in 1797 may have lent some colour to the supposi- 
tion that the Literary and Philosophical Society was but an 
expansion of the earlier Philosophical Society. At all events, 
at a General Meeting held on nth December, 1798, it was 
reported that " an extract was inserted in the Annual Register 
for 1792 (just published) from a paper purporting to have been 
read in a Philosophical Society in this town, which might be 
very injurious to the reputation of this Society, if it should be 
generally understood to have been printed with its sanction," 
and it was resolved "that the Committee be empowered to 
refute an application which has been made of the above article 
to the discredit of the Society." 

And so the Committee duly printed a statement in the local 
newspapers, and sent it to the Editor of the Annual Register^ 
the Gentleman's Magazine, and the Monthly Magazine, point- 
ing out "that the Literary and Philosophical Society of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne having had no existence until February, 
1793, could not possibly have had any concern in a transaction 
not later than the year 1792." The grammar may be doubtful, 
but the meaning is plain and the inference obvious. They 
further stated that it had been a fundamental rule of the Society, 
which in no instance had been departed from, " that Religion, 
British Politics, and all Politics of the Day, shall be deemed 
prohibited Subjects of Discussion.*' 



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xiLHAiii. 



26 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



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And here it might reasonably be supposed that all difficulty 
would have ended, and forever. But such was not the case. In 
1803 the Committee, in the course of an explanation of the care 
taken by them to prevent religious and political debates, refer to 
this charge, founded upon a passage in the Annual Register, as 
" a most gross and foul calumny." Thirteen years afterwards, in 
1816, "an article in a celebrated periodical journal 'revived' the 
absurd and groundless imputation that the wild visions of Spence, 
with regard to property in land, had in any form originated " in 
this Society. The Committee were so much troubled and pained 
by this suggestion that they furnished the President, who was then 
in London, with the full detail of all the circumstances connected 
with the original production of Spence's paper, and, through the 
medium of Mr. Cookson, one of the Vice-Presidents, they trans- 
mitted a duplicate of this " detail " to the Right Worshipful the 
Mayor of the Borough. But they even went further than this. 
"Impressed by an anxious concern to preserve the Society 
perfectly clear of all imputations of interference in political or 
religious subjects," they found it necessary to declare a vacancy 
in the office of Librarian. 

Why? The name of that official was not Spence but 
Marshall. At an earlier period of the Society's history, as 
I have mentioned, Robert Spence had been appointed Librarian 
in spite of his objectionable name. But Mr. Marshall was an 
author, and under the date 4th February, 1817, I find the 
following Minute : — 

"The Committee having referred to the VII. Law of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, in which Religion and 
British Politics are declared to be prohibited subjects of dis- 
cussion, Resolved 

"That Mr. Marshall, having printed and published a 
Pamphlet, entitled, a Political Litany, in which both the above 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



27 



subjects have been introduced in a manner calculated to injure 
the reputation and interests of the Society, is no longer Librarian 
to the said Society, and the Treasurer is hereby authorized to 
pay his Salary up to March next." 

It seems rather a high-handed and arbitrary proceeding this 
sudden dismissal. The Committee appear to have thought that 
the prohibition contained in the Law extended even to discus- 
sions without the walls of the institution, and the members seem 
to have acquiesced in the extraordinary interpretation. They 
took care that no question should arise with future holders of the 
office, for they enacted : 

"That he [the Librarian] be careful to avoid all employ- 
ments and pursuits which may be inconsistent with the duties 
which he owes to this Society as its Librarian, — more especially, 
that he shall in nowise interfere or concern himself with any 
disputes which may at any time arise among the several 
members of this Society. And that, in general, the Society 
expect that he do as Librarian not mix in the concerns of any 
particular party, either of Religion or Politics." 

To us it, no doubt, appears strange that the Society should 
have felt so strongly upon small matters, and yet, until but a few 
short months ago, we all still recognised that it was well to keep 
religion and the politics of the day, the two subjects upon which 
feeling runs more strongly than it does upon any others, without 
our walls. There seemed to be manifest advantages in having 
one place, at all events, where men of all parties and creeds 
could meet upon the neutral ground of common interests and 
sympathies. Younger and, possibly, wiser men have proposed 
to change all that, but so far unsuccessfully. 

" Old things need not be therefore true : 
No, fellow-men, nor yet the new." 

Again : we must not forget that ours was really a pioneer 



' I 



'^nr- ; .r'^.i^— t 



I I 



28 



OUR PREDECESSORS, 



4 






' I 



Society. When ours was formed, there was only one other of 
the kind in provincial England, and that was the Literary and 
Philosophical Society of Manchester, which held its first meeting 
twelve years earlier, on 14th March, 1781. Its commencement 
was consequent upon the example set by many towns in different 
parts of the Continent, where, the Preface to the first volume of its 
Transactions (published in 1785) states, " numerous Societies for 
the projnotion of Literature and Philosophy have been formed 
in the course of the last and present centuries." France is 
specially mentioned as the country where "societies for these 
purposes have been instituted in several of the provinces," whilst 
" in England they have almost been confined to the Capital." 

If we reckon amongst "learned bodies" the Christian Know- 
ledge Society, and bear in mind the Royal Irish Academy, the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Highland Society, ours was 
the twelfth, in order of date, to be started in the United Kingdom. 
In the year of its birth, 1793, the Royal Society of London for 
improving Natural Knowledge was nearly a century and a half 
old, but, with the exception of the Linnaean Society, which was 
founded in 1788, there was not a single association of learned 
men in this country devoted to the special investigation of any 
one branch of natural or physical science. The Royal Institu- 
tion began its labours in the year 1800; the Geological Society 
in 1808; the Royal Astronomical Society in 1820; the Zoolo- 
gical Society in 1826; the Royal Geographical Society in 1830; 
and the Chemical Society did not make its appearance until 
1 84 1. So that our Society came into being at a time when 
there were only three learned societies in the metropolis itself, 
and when, with the single exception of the good city of Man- 
chester, none of the great English towns, which we now look 
upon as the principal commercial or manufacturing centres 
of light and learning, could boast a Society at all. 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



29 



We must not forget that the time was 51 critical one. 
Seventeen days before our Literary and Philosophical Society 
first met, Louis XVI. was guillotined in Paris, and at once one 
of those great waves of public feeling swept over England 
which, even with the graver, calmer, and more thoughtful men, 
destroy for a time all power of reflection or discrimination, and 
the effect of which only the long lapse of years can eradicate 
from the popular mind. The whole land went into mourning, 
and all that savoured of France was abhorrent to all good 
English citizens. Edmund Burke's Letters on a Regicide 
Peace tells us, with startling clearness, how mad, upon matters 
relating to France and the French, sane men and great leaders 
of men had become. 

Though there were those who kept their heads, and remem- 
bered that, bad as the French Revolution became when "a 
separation (was) made between liberty and justice," yet the 
outbreak was only possible because the woes and wrongs of an 
entire people had become intolerable, we cannot be surprised 
that, for a time, any innovation was looked upon as rash, and 
that the charge of being responsible for the promulgation of 
revolutionary doctrines was not one which a quiet and orderly 
Literary and Philosophical Society in a provincial town could 
patiently rest under. 

When this Society had reached the fiftieth anniversary of its 
establishment, poor Thomas Spence, whose only faults were that 
he thought for himself and was in advance of his time, was once 
again dragged forth in connection with it. In a paper which 
Dr. Glover read on that occasion, and in which he gave a brief 
sketch of the history of the Society up to that year, he speaks 
of " the founding of a Debating Society in 1777, of which the 
celebrated or notorious Spence was a member, but from which 
he was expelled for hawking about the streets a pamphlet in 



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30 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



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which he expressed some of his wild views. This occurrence 
was afterwards the cause of some obloquy being directed by 
mistake against the Literary and Philosophical Society, as if 
that Institution had been political at its commencement" 

This statement is specially interesting because of its want of 
accuracy — even the date being incorrect. 

This, then, is the history of the Philosophical Society which 
preceded the Literary and Philosophical Society, and which, 
although in olden days frequently confounded with it, had really 
nothing whatever to do with it. 

But another Society came into being towards the end of last 
century, which certain writers have erroneously supposed con- 
templated to some extent the work which this Society afterwards 
took up. On the ist November, 1786, the Gentlemen of the 
Medical Faculty in this district resolved to form a Philosophical 
and Medical Society. From the Rules of the Society it was 
apparently not intended to be confined to members of the 
medical profession, nor is there anything to show that the 
papers to be read at its monthly meetings were to be restricted 
to any special class of subjects. Upon the 7th February, 1787, 
a committee was formed to draw up the outlines of a general 
library, and this was certainly meant to be for the town 
generally. The proposals which they prepared set out with the 
following declaration : — 

" A number of gentlemen, sensible of the Advantages that 
will result from the Establishment of a General Library in this 
Town, have entered into a Subscription for that purpose, and 
wishing for the Approbation and Concurrence of others, take 
this method of communicating the Outlines of their Plan to the 
Public." 

The first proposal ran thus: "The Library shall consist of 
the most approved Authors in every Branch of Philosophy : in 



OUR PREDECESSORS. 



31 



the Belles Lettres, History, Theology, Law and Medicine, 
Agriculture and Commerce ; but Romances, Novels, and the 
like shall be excluded." Philosophy, in those days, had a much 
wider meaning than we give to it now. It more nearly corre- 
sponded to the term Science as we use it popularly. " Natural 
Philosophy" is no longer heard amongst us, and "Natural 
Science " is almost as rare. Dr. Johnson defined " Philosophy " 
as " Knowledge, natural or moral," and " Science " as " Know- 
ledge, pure and simple." But, as in the Literary and Scientific 
Societies of our time, the Natural Sciences are most generally 
intended, so, in the Literary and Philosophical or Philo- 
sophical and Medical Societies of a century ago, it was the 
philosophy of Buffon rather than that of Berkeley which was 
thought of. 

I gather from the records of the Society that all its actual 
members belonged to the medical profession. Certainly the 
whole of the papers read at its meetings were technical, and it 
was practically a medical society and nothing else. It was not 
highly successful in point of numbers at all events, and it was 
finally dissolved in November 1800, its books being transferred 
to the Medical Book Club, which had been formed in May 
1790. 

This Club consisted of thirteen members, who met at each 
other's houses once a month at eight o'clock, breaking up at 
eleven. " The Member at whose house the Club meets shall 
furnish a Supper, consisting of Cold Beef, Bread and Cheese, 
Malt Liquor, and Spirit and Water. If any Member wishes for 
Wine, he may call for it." The books belonging to the Club 
were " lodged in a Book Case in the possession of the Librarian 
of the Literary and Philosophical Society," according to a Club 
Minute of November 1799. 

Thus, then, the learned Societies of which I find any record 



( 



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A 



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<^ 1 



32 OUR PREDECESSORS. 

as existing in this City before the Literary and Philosophical 
Society's date are the Philosophical Society which expelled 
Spence, and the Philosophical and Medical Society which died 
in 1800. The more convivial Club had a much longer existence, 
changing its name to " The Medical Society," and only dying of 
extreme old age in the year 1875. 



H 



> , 



CHAPTER III. 



THE BIRTH AND INFANCY OF THE SOCIETY. 



^ 




HERE are few men to whom the town of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne is more deeply indebted than it is to the 
Rev. William Turner. When scarcely twenty-one years 
of age, at the beginning of 1783, he became the minister of the 
Unitarian congregation worshipping in the Hanover Square 
Chapel. Here, in the following year, he started the first Sunday- 
school in Newcastle, and, under his charge, which continued for 
fifty-eight years, this chapel became for the town and district a 
focus of light and learning. The history of our Society is 
indissolubly connected with it, for not only was Mr. Turner its 
founder, but many of its most valuable members sat under his 
genial ministrations. It is not too much to say that for more 
than half a century he was foremost in every movement which 
had for its object the social, moral, or intellectual welfare of the 
community, and the good work he did was not " interred with 
his bones." He lived until the year 1859, when he died at 
Manchester, at the age of ninety-seven years. The Society still 
possesses an excellent portrait and bust of this good man and 
worthy citizen. 

In the winter of 1792 a few friends who met weekly for the 
purpose of conversation discussed the formation of a conver- 
sational society, and Mr. Turner was asked by them to draw out 

3 



34 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



ii 



\^} 



a sketch of the arguments for such an Institution. The follow- 
ing week he produced a paper which he called " Speculations 
on^'a Literary Society." This was circulated in manuscript, and 
it aroused such interest that a meeting of a more general kind 
was called to take the matter into consideration, and was duly 
held on the 24th January, 1793, in the new Assembly Rooms 
in Westgatc Street. 

These rooms, which have seen so many changes in their 
surroundings, are still fulfilling their important social functions 
with stately grace. The present generation have no recollection 
of the earden attached to the Vicarage House of Newcastle, 
whose trees gave a certain charm to Westgate Street less than 
forty years ago, but that garden was much smaller than it had 
been at the middle of last century. Upon part of the old garden 
the new Assembly Rooms had been built by subscription. They 
were opened on the 24th June, 1776, and "a very numerous and 
brilliant company " gathered to hansel them. The inscription 
which, two years before, had been placed under the foundation- 
stone is perhaps worthy of preservation. It ran thus : — 

*' In an age 
when the polite arts, 
By general encouragement and emulation, 
Have advanced to a 
State of perfection, 
unknown in any former period : 
The first stone 
Of this edifice, 
Dedicated to the most elegant recreation, 
Was laid by William Lowes, Esq., «. 
On the 1 6th day of May, i774-" 

The meeting of the 24th January, 1793, was convened " for 







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34 THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 

a sketch of the arguments for such an Institution. The follow- 
ing week he produced a paper which he called " Speculations 
on^'a Literary Society." This was circulated in manuscript, and 
it aroused such interest that a meeting of a more general kind 
was called to take the matter into consideration, and was duly 
held on the 24th January, 1793. i" the new Assembly Rooms 
in Westgatc Street. 

These rooms, which have seen so many changes in their 
surroundings, are still fulfilling their important social functions 
with stately grace. The present generation have no recollection 
of the garden attached to the Vicarage House of Newcastle, 
whose trees gave a certain charm to Westgate Street less than 
forty years ago, but that garden was much smaller than it had 
been at the middle of last century. Upon part of the old garden 
the new Assembly Rooms had been built by subscription. They 
were opened on the 24th June, 1776, and "a very numerous and 
brilliant company" gathered to hansel them. The inscription 
which, two years before, had been placed under the foundation- 
stone is perhaps worthy of preservation. It ran thus :— 

"In an age 
when the polite arts. 
By general encouragement and emulation, 
Have advanced to a 
State of perfection, 
unknown in any former period : 
The first stone 
Of this edifice, 
Dedicated to the most elegant recreation. 
Was laid by William Lowes, Esq., 
On the i6th day of May, 1774." 

The meeting of the 24th January, 1793, was convened " for 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



35 



the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of estab- 
h'shing a Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle," and 
the matter seems to have been introduced by the Rev. William 
Turner reading the paper which I have already mentioned, and 
the full title of which was " Speculations on the propriety of 
attempting the establishment of a Literary Society in New- 
castle." There is no information available as to the other 
proceedings, and even the name of the chairman is unknown. 

As upon this paper our Society was founded, I shall describe 
its argument in some detail. 

After a brief introduction, in which allusion was made to 
" the Royal Society in London, which was the first in order of 
time, and continued to claim the first place among the Literary 
Societies of Europe," and to the fact that, amongst the pro- 
vincial towns of England, Manchester alone possessed such a 
Society, Mr. Turner proceeded to discuss whether such pro- 
vincial Literary Societies might not become more general. 
They would act as nurseries to the larger and more important 
institutions; would diffuse more extensively a taste for philo- 
sophical and literary enquiries; and would answer a salutary 
moral purpose. " Might they not be expected to increase the 
pleasures and advantages of social intercourse, by providing an 
easy method of spending the evening agreeably and usefully ; and 
may they not thus be a means of checking the first formation 
of dissipated habits ; of banishing from our tables the coarser 
pleasures of intemperance ; and of substituting for the always 
trifling, and frequently destructive, pursuits of the gamester, the 
rational and manly entertainments of literature and philosophy?" 

He next explained that the circumstances which had induced 
him to look upon Newcastle as a favourable seat for such an 
institution as he contemplated, were — 

First, the two great natural products of this part of the 



36 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



37 



country— coal and lead. Under this head he pointed out how 
•*the origin and chemical properties of coal, the position in 
which it is found in the earth, the thickness and inclination of 
its strata, the nature of the strata above and below it, and the 
frequent interruption by perpendicular fissures called dykes, 
troubles, etc., were curious and interesting objects of enquiry, 
concerning which the ingenious persons who are employed as 
viewers are capable of supplying better information than can be 
obtained any other way. To these gentlemen, on the other 
hand, the speculative philosopher might perhaps have an oppor- 
tunity of returning the obligation, by communicating useful hints 
concerning the nature of the several damps and vapours which 
infest the mines, with the view of destroying or removing them." 
Mr. Turner mentions also improvements in machinery, both 
above and below ground, and thinks that " the speculations of 
ingenious men in this line" might afford both entertainment 
and advantage. Perhaps the French wit who found that the 
English took their pleasures sadly, had heard of this curious 
idea of entertainment. But he goes on to speak of improve- 
ments in the method of working the coal, and in the means of 
preserving the health, and providing for the safety of the miners. 
He makes similar observations respecting lead, laying stress 
upon "what concerns the health of the workmen employed in all 
the branches of it, from its first discovery in the mine, to the 
manufactures in which it is even most remotely concerned." He 
alludes to the various manufactures which depend upon the 
plenty and cheapness of fuel, and suggests that a Society of the 
nature he contemplates might point out and encourage the 
establishment of such as are, on this account, peculiarly adapted 
to this country. He shows also how Newcastle enjoys special 
advantages for chemical investigations, and the opportunity 
afforded of seeing many chemical processes " at the works of 



various ingenious persons residing in this town and neighbour- 
hood." 

The second object of such a Society would be to enquire how 
far the country was still improvable. Mineral treasures might 
yet be discovered ; hints might be given for the advancement of 
agriculture ; and the arguments for and against facilitating 
communication by means of inland navigation might be can- 
vassed. Again, the mineral waters found in the district, and 
those which supplied this town, might be carefully analysed, and 
perhaps further hints given for obtaining a better supply. 

Thirdly, the romantic scenery, especially on the banks of the 
Tyne, and other rivers, would furnish a variety of subjects for 
the pencil, and for the lover of picturesque description, and these 
might occasionally entertain the Society. 

Fourthly, the profusion of antiquities, not only in Newcastle, 
but all along the Roman Wall, "which, though they have 
furnished abundance of employment for many pens, are not yet 
by any means exhausted, will engage the attention of the patient 
enquirers after these venerable monuments of extinct nations 
customs, and religions." 

It is interesting to note, as we go through this paper upon 
which our Society was founded, how many of the hopes to which 
Mr. Turner gave expression a century ago have been amply 
realised. The coal trade has been enormously developed, and 
" the several damps and vapours which infest the mines " have 
been, on the whole, successfully grappled with. The lead and 
chemical industries have taken innumerable forms then all 
undreamed of; the town supply of water has attained, what 
would have appeared to Mr. Turner, impossible proportions ; 
Thomas Bewick, old Tom Richardson, and other future members, 
have entertained wider audiences than the Society with "the 
subjects for the pencil ; " and the " profusion of antiquities " 



38 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



alluded to owe their preservation and elucidation in a great 
measure to two gentlemen who, for many years, took a deep and 
active interest in the Society's work, our late Vice-presidents, 
Mr. John Clayton and the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Under his fifth head Mr. Turner mentions an exact enumera- 
tion and classification of the inhabitants of the town. This had 
not at that time been attempted. Many guesses and calcula- 
tions had been made, but with widely differing results. There 
was still a strong religious superstition against the State under- 
taking such a task. He went on to suggest as subjects for 
inquiry the history and progress of commerce, particularly of 
the coal trade ; accounts of the introduction and gradual 
extension of the various manufactures, "and of the regu- 
lations for the internal government of the workmen employed 
by Crawley's company at Swalwell, which, I am told, are very 
curious, though probably but little known.'* 

Crawley's company deserves a passing word. Few people 
now know even the name, and yet it was for some time one 
of the most important manufacturing companies in the whole 
country. Sir Ambrose Crowley, towards the end of the 
seventeenth century, "first fixed upon Sunderland near the 
Sea, as an eligible situation for his projected manufactory ; 
but, after an experience of five or six years, he transplanted 
his Cyclopean colony to the district between the Tyne and 
Derwent, a cheaper country, and abounding with coal." This 
was about the year 1690. Winlaton corn-mill was turned into 
an iron forge, and ironworks were started also at Swalwell. 
Anchors, chain cables, pumps, spades, saws, "in short, almost 
every form of which iron and steel are susceptible were produced 
in these works." 

Sir Ambrose Crowley was a Staffordshire man, who worked 
his way up from the anvil. He lived in London, and had ware- 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



39 



houses and wharves for the purposes of his great business 
operations. These places he called " The Doublet," and the 
sign which he placed upon them is said to have represented 
the leather jerkin in which he worked when a smith. He 
was knighted in 1706, made Sheriff of London in 1707, and 
afterwards became an alderman for that city and Member of 
Parliament for Andover. He is an interesting specimen of the 
self-made man, and tl^at not so much because he managed to 
get rich and to die leaving great estates and works and a fortune 
of ;f 200,000, but rather because he was a man of advanced ideas 
upon the labour question, and that two centuries ago. 

His works were regulated by a special code of laws, which 
" had the happiest effect in reconciling differences, adminis- 
tering justice expeditiously, and rendering unnecessary the 
oppressive, absurd, and ruinous processes of the common law." 
The laws were administered by the officials, but all disputes 
were settled by a court of arbitrators, amongst whom all the 
different interests of the great concern were represented, and 
which met at stated intervals. The laws dealt with most of 
the matters which are now relegated to the County Court or 
to Petty Sessions, and questions of debt to outside tradesmen 
as well as to fellow- workmen, wages, work, personal disputes, 
bastardy claims, and the like, were brought before and decided 
by " Crowley's Court" The sick, aged, or permanently disabled 
were cared for; a surgeon was appointed to attend all who 
required his services ; widows and orphans were assisted, and 
schools were established for the workmen's children. In 18 19 
the workmen formed and opened a library at Winlaton, which 
contained three thousand volumes. To provide the necessary 
funds for the different social operations I have mentioned, 
deductions of so much in the pound were made from each man's 
wages, the firm also contributing its quota. 



i' 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 






f, 



y 



I have been led rather far away from Mr. Turner's paper by 
his allusion to " Crawley's company at Swalwell," but there is 
surely a special interest, now that Winlaton Mill has long been 
a ruin and the Swalwell works have been abandoned for more 
than twenty years, about this early and, on the whole, successful 
attempt towards Industrial Peace. 

Mr. Turner's sixth point for the operations of the proposed 
society was the biography of eminent men, natives of, or 
resident in, these parts; and, as the seventh point, he notes that 
"Newcastle is peculiarly well situated for procuring Literary 
Intelligence," because it enjoys more frequent opportunities of 
communicating with the capitals both of England and Scotland, 
than any other town in either kingdom, and because of its 
much trade with other parts of the world. 

And this brought the learned speaker to his last point. 
Navigation and the Mathematics. A century ago, " the solution 
of various important problems still necessary to the perfection 
of navigation " had for nearly a hundred years been looked upon 
as a national object ; whilst " the Mathematical Sciences, in 
their various branches, are capable of almost universal extent 
and application." Thus he came to his concluding words : — 

" I might further remark, with what good ground we might 
hope to look forward to the pleasure of being favoured, from 
the most respectable quarter, with various classical illustrations, 
enquiries into antient manners, customs, etc., etc. ; what a 
favourable prospect we might reasonably entertain of being 
regaled with specimens of eastern literature, which is daily 
becoming more and more important in a commercial view, and 
which appears to be fraught with various beauties, both of 
sentiment and diction : I might resume a former general argu- 
ment, and shew the advantages which may arise to our youth 
in particular, from any institution which may tend to obviate 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



41 



the many temptations arising from the great degree of leisure 
which seems, from whatever cause, to attend the trade of this 
port : — But I am fearful of exhausting the patience of my 
readers ; whom I wish to convince, but not to fatigue." 

The reader will have noticed that the idea which was upper- 
most in Mr. Turner's mind was that of forming a kind of 
debating society combined with an essay meeting ; or it might 
be better to call it a conversation club, upon an extensive scale. 
Papers were to be read by the members who had special 
information to communicate, and were afterwards to be talked 
over in the freest way. 

This was the plan which had been adopted by " the Philo- 
sophical and Medical Society" which I described in the last 
chapter, and which Mr. Turner mentioned at the beginning of 
his paper. He said, " it appears to be formed upon such liberal 
principles, as to admit into its body any lovers of general 
literature who might offer themselves as candidates, though not 
of the Faculty." He then distinguished between the principal 
(and really the exclusive) object of that society — the improve- 
ment of the practical part of the medical profession, and that of 
such a society as he wished to form " admitting persons of all 
professions, parties, and persuasions," and in which " the intro- 
duction of practical medicine, as well as, for obvious reasons, of 
politics and religion," should be forbidden. 

The meeting resolved that it was highly expedient that such 
a society should be formed, and it appointed a committee to 
draw up a plan, which was to be submitted to the next general 
meeting. 

The men appointed were, in the truest sense, representa- 
tive. William Cramlington, twice mayor, and half-brother by 
marriage of Lords Stowell and Eldon ; Robert Hopper William- 
son, Recorder of Newcastle, and Chancellor of the County 






I 



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42 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



II 



Palatine of Durham ; the Rev. Edward Moises, who had 
succeeded his uncle as head-master of the Royal Grammar 
School ; the Rev. William Turner ; Dr. Pemberton, Physician 
to the Infirmary; Dr. Ramsay, then President of the Philo- 
sophical and Medical Society; Dr. Wood, also Physician to the 
Infirmary; Mr. John Anderson ; Mr. John Murray, Visiting 
Surgeon to the Dispensary ; Mr. William Newton ; Mr. David 
Stephenson, architect, who designed and carried out the forma- 
tion of Mosley Street and Dean Street ; Mr. Thomas Gibson ; 
Mr. Robert Doubleday, for forty-six years secretary to the 
Newcastle Dispensary, secretary also to the Lying-in Hospital 
and Fever Hospital, one of the founders and a vice-president 
of the Royal Jubilee School, and one of the founders and 
directors of the Newcastle Savings Bank. He was one of the 
original Committee of Management of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, acted for some time as joint-secretary 
with Mr. Turner, and was for twenty-six years an active and 
highly valued vice-president of the Society, which owed much of 
its early success to his tact and ability. The remaining members 
of the Committee were Mr. Malin Sorsbie and Mr. Nicholas 
Storey, who appear to have been amongst " the few friends " 
whose social meetings first gave birth to the idea of the Society. 
The Committee thus appointed applied itself at once to its 
task, and presented a plan for the formation and government of 
a Literary Society to the next general meeting, which was held 
at the Dispensary in Pilgrim Street, on Thursday, the 7th of 
February, 1793, the Rev. Edward Moises being in the chair. At 
this meeting it was resolved — " That this meeting do form itself 
into a Society by the name of * The Literary and Philosophical 
Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne;'" and rules for nomination 
of members, election of officers, and reading of papers were 
adopted, the annual subscription being fixed at one guinea. 



1 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



43 



The rules provided, amongst other things, that any member 
might recommend, and any general meeting direct, the purchase 
of such books, etc., as they thought proper. The subjects of 
conversation should comprehend " the Mathematics, Natural 
Philosophy and History, Chemistry, Polite Literature, Anti- 
quities, Civil History, Biography, Questions of General Law 
and Policy, Commerce, and the Arts." But with practical 
wisdom, considering the character of the burning questions of 
that day (and perhaps the implied limitation of the observation 
is not necessary), " Religion, the practical branches of Law and 
Physic, British Politics, and indeed all Politics of the day," were 
" deemed prohibited subjects of conversation." 

The ruling idea of the Society's functions was that of a club 
for talk and argument, both being conducted methodically and 
with serious objects in view. It was arranged that it should 
meet once a month, the chair being taken at a quarter before 
seven in the evening, but the members being " requested to 
meet at half-past six, to hear such literary intelligence, etc., as 
any person might have to communicate." 

All friends of literature and philosophy, whether members 
or not, were invited to favour the Society with papers on any 
of the permitted subjects, or with literary intelligence, curious 
productions of nature or art, etc., directed to any member of 
the Society. The reading of papers was to commence at seven 
o'clock precisely, other business being adjourned until after the 
discussion of the subject for the night. 

These arrangements sound strange and precise now, but we 
must remember that the gentlemen who prepared the rules were 
feeling their way. I have pointed out that there were scarcely 
any learned societies in the land a century ago, but we must 
also remember that there were no debating societies, no local 
colleges, no systematic courses of lectures, no quarterly reviews, 



i-1 



lit 






THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



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45 



HI",: 






no monthly magazines to speak of, no penny daily newspapers. 
A public gathering at regular intervals for intellectual purposes 
was quite a new departure for our good town, and required 
much thought and careful preparation. 

This department of the Society, which was the chief one in 
Mr. Turner's estimation, had developments which are of much 
interest, and which will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. 
But at this first meeting it was also resolved — " That the Society 
will consider itself as particularly indebted to those who shall 
favour it with notices concerning coal or lead, with the strata, 
etc., accompanying them ; or with specimens, draughts, plans, 
sections, borings, etc., illustrative of the natural history of these 
minerals." The replies to this suggestion, and to that mentioned 
a little earlier, of forwarding to the Society " curious productions 
of nature or art," led to the formation of another department 
altogether — the gathering together of a large and valuable 
museum. This story will also have a chapter to itself. These two 
departments have ceased to exist in connection with the Society. 

It was further resolved at this first meeting that it should be 
left to future deliberations to determine what, or whether any, 
measures should be taken for obtaining the establishment of a 
General Library. This, which has long been the principal feature 
of the Society, was not directly contemplated by its founder ; but 
at that first meeting a novel and interesting arrangement was 
made for the systematic borrowing of books by the members 
from one another. By this plan members who wished to peruse 
any particular book were to give notice of the fact in the Society's 
room, in order that, if any other member were in possession of it, 
and were disposed to lend it, or could give information where it 
might be obtained, the person wanting it might be accommo- 
dated upon the following terms — viz., "that he give a written 
receipt for any book furnished by a member, with an engage- 



ment to return it within a specified time in as good condition as 
received." 

We have no means of ascertaining how this original method of 
circulating other people's books answered, but there are persons 
even in these days who would have fewer agonising gaps upon 
their library shelves if some benevolent society had volunteered to 
undertake the task of book-lending for them, and had observed the 
precaution of obtaining a written receipt for each book lent 

There was no provision made for women members, and, as 
will be seen hereafter, none were admitted for a considerable 
time. This was the case with all societies which were known as 
" learned " ; and even to-day, when women have surpassed men 
in the highest mathematical and classical examinations at the 
old universities, there are societies claiming the title of "learned" 
in the metropolis itself which deny to women the title of fellow, 
and that not from chivalrous motives. But the earliest rules of 
this Society did make a slender provision for the youth of the 
male sex, for, " in order to encourage a taste for literature in the 
younger members of the community," any member was allowed 
to introduce a young person between the ages of seventeen and 
twenty-one. It was, however, resolved " that this class of visitors 
be expected to withdraw immediately after the reading of papers 
is concluded." 

This somewhat mysterious and harsh regulation remained in 
force for six years, by which time experience had shown that the 
discussions and conversations indulged in by the older members 
might be listened to with impunity by such of the ingenuous 
youth of the district as happened to have a taste that way. 

Thus then, at this meeting on the 7th February, 1793, it was 
resolved that the Society should be formed, and should hold its 
meetings once a month. At the first of these, which fell on the 
7th March, it was reported that seventy-three Ordinary Members 






46 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



47 



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and fifty-four Honorary Members had been already enrolled. 
The numbers seem to be, relatively, rather disproportionate, but 
persons who lived more than five miles from Newcastle were 
eligible as Honorary Members, so that nearly one-half of their 
number were resident in Northumberland and Durham. Still 
there were some great names upon the list, names of men of 
national importance, such as Matthew Boulton, Soho, near 
Birmingham ; Sir Joseph Banks, P.R.S. ; Dr. Charles Hutton, 
Dr. Lettsom,* Dr. Percival, President of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society of Manchester ; Rev. Dr. Priestley, and others. 
This meeting was adjourned until the 12th March, when the 
officers of the Society were elected. The list of these first 
bearers of office should, I think, be preserved. It runs thus : — 



President . 
Vice-Pt esidenis . 



Secretaries . . 

Treasurer . . 
Committee . . 



. John Widdrington, Esq. 
. Stephen Pemberton, M.D. 

Robert Hopper Williamson, Esq. 

John Clark, M.D., F.R.C.M. Ed. 

William Cramlington, Esq. 
. Rev. William Turner, Jun. 

Mr. Robert Doubleday. 
. Mr, Thomas Gibson. 
. John Ramsay, M.D. 

Mr. Walter Hall. 

Mr. David Stephenson. 

James Wood, M.D. 



* The learned and famous Quaker physician whom most men now remember 
only by the naughty epigram : 

*' Should any sick to me apply, 

I blisters, bleeds, and sweats 'em; 
If, after that, they chance to die, 
What's that to me? 

I. Lettsom." 



The Committee has been increased to twelve members, but 
the other offices remain as they were first settled. It is amusing 
to note that the Secretaries precede the Treasurer. More than 
three-quarters of a century afterwards a serious question arose 
upon this vital point ; and it was settled at last by the Secre- 
taries allowing the Treasurer's name to be printed before their 
names, but always taking precedence in introducing lecturers 
and the like. It is on such questions that much valuable time 
and thought must be bestowed, for they appear to be of the 
first importance. 

With three exceptions, the officers were members of the 
original committee. With their election the Society may be 
considered to have begun its actual work. But it was very 
soon felt that the members required something more than the 
opportunity of meeting once a month for conversation, and of 
borrowing books which they were not allowed to appropriate. 
Scarcely half a year had passed before a forward movement was 
made in the direction of establishing a General Library. The 
Rev. Edward Moises led this movement, and at his suggestion 
a special committee was appointed on loth December, 1793, to 
take the matter into consideration, their attention being drawn 
to the resolutions of the meeting of the 7th February upon the 
subject. The Committee " held repeated meetings, at each of 
which they found no difficulty in agreeing that the establish- 
ment of a General Library, subject to the restrictions of the 
eighth Article of the 7th of February, was an object highly desir- 
able," but the best mode of carrying out such establishment 
gave them much trouble. 

The usual plan was to give each subscriber a share in the 
undertaking, which was a definite item of personal property, and 
could be sold or bequeathed by will. The objection to this 
course in the case of a library was that the chief interest might 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



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come, in course of time, to be vested in illiterate persons, infants, 
or absentees. To prevent this, it was proposed to give the 
Society a right of pre-emption, but this was considered dangerous, 
as a few members might combine and, by selling out, " very 
seriously distress the Society." Several other suggestions were 
made, but the Committee at length wisely concluded that " it 
appeared most agreeable to the original principles of the associa- 
tion, as well as the most simple and free from difficulties, that 
the Library, etc., should always continue to be considered as the 
undivided property of the General Body for the time being ; and 
that every Member should be understood to receive a sufficient 
compensation for his subscription, in the information derived 
from the stated meetings of the Society, and in the use of the 
books and other property, so long as he continues a Member." 

This plan was adopted, and has always been adhered to. 
At the time it was unique, and Lord Brougham, in a pamphlet 
on Mechanics* Institutes, instanced it as a case of liberality of 
treatment which deserved to be celebrated. But the best 
method of carrying out the resolve of the subscribers was a 
frequent cause of anxiety. That learned lawyer, Mr. Robert 
Hopper Williamson, whose fame survives even to this day, 
advised that an order should be made at the anniversary meet- 
ing in 1797 declaring that the property of the Library and other 
effects of the Society should be vested in the Committee for the 
time being, in trust for such uses and purposes as should from 
time to time be directed by the laws of the Society. Each 
Committee was to deliver to its successors the whole of these 
effects with an accurate catalogue thereof 

This plan, it is obvious, could only be satisfactory so long as 
the Society's possessions were few. As they increased, its 
inadequacy was felt more and more, and at the Anniversary 
Meeting in 1805 the Committee announced that they had 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



49 



w 



resolved, " upon the most mature deliberation, and after availing 
themselves of the best legal advice, to propose a Deed of Trust, 
renewable from time to time to new Trustees to be appointed by 
the Society." The heads of the proposed deed having been 
read, the meeting directed it " to be sent to Charles Butler, Esq., 
of Lincoln's Inn, — and, having been corrected and approved 
by him, to be engrossed and signed by the parties concerned." 

But although our predecessors were not troubled by " the 
insolence of office," they could not escape " the law's delays, " 
and no more was heard of the proposed deed for twenty years. 
There was an abortive attempt made to get a General Act of 
Parliament passed which should relate to all societies of a similar 
description, but in 1825 the whole of the Society's property, 
including its new building, was " vested in the sole name of our 
most worthy President." And so at long last the matter was 
submitted to Mr. Butler, " whose eminence as a Conveyancer is 
universally acknowledged." 

Mr. Butler advised as follows : — 

" I have perused this case, and the Deeds and Rules and Regula- 
tions accompanying it. 

In all of these cases, a difficulty arises, from part of the property 
being real estate, and part of it personal estate. To avoid which, I 
recommend that all the real estate should be properly vested in the 
Trustees for a term of 1000 years. 

Another difficulty frequently occurs in these cases, from the difficulty 
of disposing of the property, if the parties should wish to sell or ex- 
change any part of it ; or if the institution should fail. To prevent 
which, there should be a regulation that it shall be lawful for the 
Members, or a majority of them, to direct the property to be sold ; and 
that in such a case, a resolution for that purpose should be framed and 
entered in the minutes; and that a recital of the resolution in the 
conveyance or assignment should be evidence of it, and of its having 

4 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



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been regularly and properly made : — and a declaration that the receipts 
of the Trustees, for the time being, should discharge the purchasers 
from seeing to the application of the purchase money ; and from all 
obligation of ascertaining the existence of the resolution, or of its 
having been duly made. 

When it becomes necessary to appoint new Trustees, it should be 
done at a meeting of the company, but proper Deeds must be exe- 
cuted for vesting the property in the new Trustees, and the continmng 
Trustees. The resolution for the appointment of the Trustees should 
contain a provision for this purpose, and a declaration that a recital of 
this provision in the Deed appointing the new Trustees, shall, in 
respect to all persons dealing with the Members, be evidence of the 
existence of the resolution, for its having been duly entered into. 

I think the language of the rules requires some alterations, and 
that some new rules should be framed. 

All the Members (except the Trustees) should covenant with the 
Trustees ; and the Trustees should covenant with five or six of the 
principal Members. 

A general description of the property will be sufficient. 

I recommend that whenever a new Member is chosen, he should 
sign and seal the proposed Deed, and that his signature and sealing 
should be witnessed by a new attestation. 

It is never absolutely necessary to insert the character or place of 
abode of the parties to the Deed, but there should always be such 
certain mention of them, as will ascertain who they are ; this may be set 
opposite to their names in the schedule. 

The Equity of Redemption should be vested in the Trustees. 

Lincoln's Inn, Fed. 5, 1825." Charles Butler. 

A deed of trust was duly prepared in accordance with this 
opinion, and was laid upon the table for a month for the edifica- 
tion of members. It was explained by Mr. Brockett to the 
annual meeting in 1826, and that meeting resolved that it 
should be laid before Mr. Williamson for his approbation ; and 



that, if the general principle of it were approved by him, it 
should be brought with his corrections before the next general 
monthly meeting, which should be duly authorised to fill up the 
deed with the proper number of trustees. 

Experience teaches, but very slowly, whilst " Hope springs 
eternal in the human breast." The next general monthly 
meeting and two anniversary meetings had to pass over before 
the deed was laid on the table for signature by the members. 
It was, indeed, dated the ist day of March, 1828, but it was the 
8th day of March, 1829, before the chief parties had signed it 
and the fact was announced to an annual meeting. 

The deed recited, amongst other things, that the Literary 
and Philosophical Society had by the annual subscriptions of 
the members purchased a large library of valuable books and 
an extensive philosophical apparatus, as also a museum of 
natural and artificial curiosities, with other valuable property 
necessary and requisite for the use and purposes of the Society, 
and that the several members had agreed that it should be 
governed by the several rules or regulations and laws set forth 
in the first schedule to the deed. The buildings, lands, 
hereditaments and premises were conveyed, and the books, 
philosophical apparatus, museum, goods and chattels, personal 
estate, property, and effects whatsoever were assigned, unto 
Sir Matthew White Ridley, Cuthbert Ellison, Henry Thomas 
Liddell, Matthew Bell, Addison John Cresswell Baker, John 
Adamson, Charles John Bigge, John Trotter Brockett, Charles 
Bertram, John Bulman, George Burnett the younger, William 
Henry Brockett, Christopher Cookson, John Clayton, Joseph 
Croser, Thomas Doubleday, William Gray, Robert Ingham, 
Robert Ormston the younger, James Smith, and Charles Thorp, 
in trust for the benefit and advantage of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, and to be held, enjoyed, and applied by 



in 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



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ti 



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the said Society in the manner and for the purposes for which 
the same was constituted and established, and according to the 
then present and future rules or regulations and laws, made and 
to be made for the management of the same, and to be for no 
other use, intent, or purpose whatsoever. 

The deed contained a proviso that no person who then was, 
or who, at any time thereafter, should become a member, should 
have or be entitled to a transmissible estate or interest, either 
legal or equitable, in the real or personal property of the Society, 
but that, when any person ceased to be a member, all his estate, 
right, and interest in the premises immediately determined and 
became void, to all intents and purposes whatsoever. 

The signatures of persons becoming members were contained 
in a second schedule to the deed, and it was usual, until some 
forty years ago, for every one to sign upon election. That 
custom is no longer observed. ^ 

There has been one new appointment of trustees up to the 
present time, and that was in 1871. The surviving trustees 
then were the Right Hon. Lord Ravensworth, A. J. B. Cress- 
well, Esq., John Clayton, Esq., Robert Ormston, Esq., Matthew 
Bell, Esq., and Robert Ingham, Esq., all of whom have since 
passed away. The new trustees were Sir W. G. Armstrong, C.B., 
Ralph Brown, Esq., Rev. J. C. Bruce, LL.D., Edward Charlton, 
Esq., M.D., R. C. Clapham, Esq., R. R. Dees, Esq., D. 
Embleton, Esq., M.D., Thomas Hodgkin, Esq., Thomas Humble, 
Esq., M.D., R. O. Lamb, Esq., G. H. Philipson, Esq., M.D., 
Rev. J. Snape, D.D., Sir John Swinburne, Bart, Hugh 
Taylor, Esq., and Robert Spence Watson, Esq. 

I have gone fully into the position of the property belonging 
to the Society, not only because our constitution has served as 
a model to many others, and has stood the test of long experi- 
ence, but because new members have so frequently inquired 



about it that it seemed desirable to give all persons interested in 
the matter the fullest opportunity of knowing the exact facts. 

We must now return to the Special Committee of December 
1 0th, 1793, which had resolved that a General Library should be 
formed, and which had also, after much anxious consideration, 
arrived at the admirable plan for getting over the difficulties 
of proprietorship, the full history of which I have just detailed. 

By the permission of the authorities, the Society had been 
allowed from the first to use the Governors' Hall of the 
Dispensary for their meetings. The Dispensary had removed 
from the entry below the Queen's Head Inn (now the Liberal 
Club) in Pilgrim Street to St John's Lodge in Low Friar Street, 
the lease of which had been purchased by the Governors from 
the Incorporated Company of Saddlers. The Literary and 
Philosophical Society agreed to pay six guineas annually to 
the Dispensary, and they were allowed to put up a bookcase in 
the hall, the first bookcase which the Society acquired. It 
cost the modest sum of five pounds, is described as " handsome," 
and was "eighteen feet wide, and completely furnished with 
drawers, shelves, and doors, to the lower part" 

But the hall and bookcase would manifestly be unequal 
to the requirements of a General Library, and the Special 
Committee was therefore desired to join the Standing Com- 
mittee in endeavouring to find more suitable accommodation. 
On the nth February, 1794, they reported that they had engaged 
for a year, upon trial, a room in St. Nicholas* Churchyard, which 
was then used as a billiard-room. Three years later, as the growth 
of the Society was rapid, they had to take the large room under 
that already occupied. The old room was used for the meetings 
of members, whilst the new one, with entrances from Mosley 
Street and the Churchyard, was the Library proper. The 
yearly rental of the two rooms was twenty guineas. Rules 



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THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



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were drawn up for the circulation of books, several of which 
are still in force, and Messrs. Charnley and Bell, who were book- 
sellers and members of the Society, were appointed the first 
Librarians. The orders for books were to be divided between 
them as nearly as might be, and for this privilege they 
undertook to attend in rotation, either personally or by some 
responsible person, on Tuesday and Thursday of each week, 
between the hours of twelve and two. 

But as the number of members increased, so there grew the 
demand for an extended and more regular delivery of books ; 
and at the annual meeting in 1798 it was reported that Mr. 
Robert Spence had been engaged as Librarian at twelve guineas 
a year, and that he would attend daily from eleven to two 
o'clock. A new class of honorary members, who were to have 
the privileges of ordinary members, had been formed in the 
preceding year but their number was limited to four. This 
class still continues to afford a valuable means of recognising 
local merit, often to the great benefit of the Society as well as 
of the recipient of the distinction. 

It is interesting to find, amongst the purchases of the 
Committee, many things which are unknown to those of the 
present generation, such as a lanthorn to light the entry, and 
a pair of snuffers for the use of members : there is nothing, 
however, so remarkable as the purchase of a lottery ticket, 
which Dr. Embleton mentions in his admirable account of the 
Newcastle Medical Society as having been agreed to for the 
benefit of that Society in 179a 

At the same annual meeting (1798) the Committee ex- 
plained that they had found it necessary to obtain yet more 
extensive premises, and that they had agreed to take the Old 
Assembly Rooms, adjoining Ridley's Court in the Groat 
Market, at ;fi8 a year. They had also arranged that the 



Librarian should attend for two entire afternoons in each 
week, for the need of extra service developed almost with his 
appointment, and his salary was raised to £i2> per annum. 

The Committee rejoiced greatly in the acquisition of the 
new rooms, and congratulated "their brethren on the pleasant 
and commodious manner in which they were enabled to hold 
their Anniversary Meeting, in the spacious and elegant apart- 
ment provided for their use, and in which they might hope that 
the Society had at length arrived at something like a permanent 
establishment." 

They had obtained "an ample Repository for a very ex- 
tensive collection of books, as well as for a cabinet of fossils." 
Gifts of interesting and curious objects had, indeed, been made 
to the Society from the beginning of its career. The first annual 
report, presented at the Anniversary Meeting of March 1794, 
mentions, amongst presents of essays, papers, and the like, 

A Section of the Strata in Alstone Moor and Dunston 
Fell Lead Mines (to the depth of 241J fathoms), with a large 
collection of specimens, illustrative of the products of the 
Lead-Mine district, from Nicholas Walton, jun., Esq. 

Various unusual Mineral Productions found in a dyke in 
Denton Colliery, from Mr W. Thomas. 

A collection of Specimens from the Lead-Mines in Swale- 
dale, Yorkshire, from the Rev. Mr. Turner. 

Ditto, from the Copper Mine at Parys Mountain, Angle- 
sea, by ditto. 

Various curiosities of Nature and Art from the islands 
in the South Sea, and from China, from Mr. Flower Humble. 

A Section of the Strata to the Low Main Coal in St. 
Anthon's Colliery (depth 135 J fathoms), with a box containing 
Specimens of all the Strata methodically arranged, by Mr. 
George Johnson. 



1/1 



\\ 



M .i 



\i 



> 



56 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



If 



'fi 



This statement of gifts is of special interest because it marks 
the beginning of the great collection which, nearly forty years 
afterwards, was entrusted to the care of the then newly-born 
Natural History Society, and which now forms part of the 
treasures contained in that Society's noble museum. How this 
collection grew, and how it came to pass away from the Literary 
and Philosophical Society, I shall treat of fully in a subsequent 
chapter. For the present the new home in the Groat Market 
sufficed for the wants of the institution. 

That home seems to have had a spacious and adaptive 
character. There was to be found in it « suitable accommoda- 
tions" both for general meetings and for daily resort to the 
Library ; but there was also " power, in cases of necessity, to 
accommodate Lecturers on such useful subjects as the Society 
might think fit to patronise"! What came of this, and the 
whole of the curious and interesting history of lectures in con- 
nection with the Society, will be fully gone into hereafter. 

The cost of repairs to the rooms, fitting up bookcases, 
makmg alterations, and the like, was heavy, and from the first 
there were subscribers whose habit it was to get into arrear in 
the payment of their subscriptions. Their irregularities caused 
the purchase of books at one time to be entirely suspended for 
a considerable period. And now, with the new premises, ladies 
began to express the desire to join the Society, and it was 
considered that, if this were permitted, some mode of election 
must be found " less revolting to their delicacy than the usual 
nomination." And so a new class of members was formed, and 
they were called Reading Members, but they could neither 
attend General Meetings nor vote in the choice of members. 
To this class ladies were declared to be eligible, " the Society 
waiving, in their case, the month's previous proposal " required 
of men. 



57 



• So far as I have been able to ascertain, ours was the first 
English Society which opened its doors to women. There does 
not seem to have been any burning anxiety about admission 
upon their part, for in 1801 there was but a single lady Reading 
Member, but they soon seem to have successfully asserted their 
equal rights, for in 1 804 two ladies actually appear amongst the 
newly-elected Ordinary Members. How dangerous it always is 
to let in the thin end of the wedge ! Yet, as a matter of fact, 
ladies did not begin regularly to join the Society, as a matter 
of course and in the ordinary way, until after the reduction of 
the annual subscription in 1856, consequent upon the payment 
off of the Society's mortgage debt, chiefly through the generosity 
of Robert Stephenson, and they joined then without note or 
comment, as a matter of course. 

No vigorous and healthy body remains long out of difficulty. 
Difficulties are the salt of life, and alone make it truly worth 
living. The new Library made an excellent Lecture Room, but 
when it began to be used regularly for the purpose of lecturing, 
the readers not unnaturally, began to rebel. As early as 1803 
the question of separate apartments for these purposes was 
raised, and a model of a proposed Lecture Room was prepared 
and exhibited. But it was not to be. The joint-occupation con- 
tinued until 1809, ^^^ then the lectures were removed from the 
Old Assembly Rooms in the Groat Market to the Concert Hall 
attached to the Turk's Head in the Bigg Market. 

By that time "the spacious and elegant apartments," which had 
seemed at first sufficient not for that day only but for all days 
to come, began to appear somewhat small and cramped, and by 
18 13 they had proved so entirely inadequate longer to afford 
any tolerable accommodation for the Society's increasing Library 
and other valuable property, that the question of how to obtain 
new and fitting premises began to be entertained. The pro- 



si ' 



<i 









jOtSG^ 



58 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



prietor of the Old Assembly Rooms had c^iven notice that he 
intended to dispose of the property of which they formed a part, 
and therefore the possibility of continued tenure upon the part of 
the Society became problematical. Many sites upon which an 
appropriate building could be erected were discussed, but at the 
Annual ?^Ieeting in 1815 the Committee recommended the 
members to confirm a treaty which they had negotiated with 
the Corporation for a lease of ground immediately north of the 
Girls' Jubilee School, and adjoining the new street from Pilgrim 
Street to the new bridge, — the place now occupied by the Lying- 
in Hospital. This site they looked upon as more central than 
Charlotte Square or the Cross House. As for the funds which 
would be required for the erection of the building, it was 
presumed " that many opulent and spirited individuals, disposed 
to encourage the interests of literature and science, would afford 
some extraordinary assistance in the form of donations." It w^as, 
at the same time, proposed to raise the annual subscription to 
one and a half guineas for four years, which scarcely, perhaps, 
deserves the name of an heroic measure. 

The next report shows that little actual progress had been 
made in the twelve months which had elapsed. The sum 
of £261 19s. 6d. had been obtained from the increase of sub- 
scriptions ; £2^^ had been subscribed by way of life-interests 
in the use of the Society's property; and the donations of 
"opulent and spirited individuals" amounted to ^513 /s. The 
disappointment was attributed to " the severe pressure of the 
times. The difficulties, however, arising from this cause, it was 
to be hoped that the continuance of peace, and their increasing 
finances, might in time overcome." It was then not a year since 
Waterloo had been won. 

But, in the meantime, whilst the property of the Society was 
receiving much injury from the cramped space into which it was 




o 

-1- 

00 



H 
O 



X 



58 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



prietor of the Old Assembly Rooms had given notice that he 
intended to dispose of the property of which they formed a part, 
and therefore the possibility of continued tenure upon the part of 
the Society became problematical. Many sites upon which an 
appropriate building could be erected were discussed, but at the 
Annual Meeting in 1815 the Committee recommended the 
members to confirm a treaty which they had negotiated with 
the Corporation for a lease of ground immediately north of the 
Girls' Jubilee School, and adjoining the new street from Pilgrim 
Street to the new bridge, — the place now occupied by the Lying- 
in Hospital. This site they looked upon as more central than 
Charlotte Square or the Cross House. As for the funds which 
would be required for the erection of the building, it was 
presumed " that many opulent and spirited individuals, disposed 
to encourage the interests of literature and science, would afford 
some extraordinary assistance in the form of donations." It was, 
at the same time, proposed to raise the annual subscription to 
one and a half guineas for four years, which scarcely, perhaps, 
deserves the name of an heroic measure. 

The next report shows that little actual progress had been 
made in the twelve months which had elapsed. The sum 
of £261 19s. 6d. had been obtained from the increase of sub- 
scriptions ; ;^257 had been subscribed by way of life-interests 
in the use of the Society's property; and the donations of 
"opulent and spirited individuals" amounted to £s^Z 7^- The 
disappointment was attributed to "the severe pressure of the 
times. The difficulties, however, arising from this cause, it was 
to be hoped that the continuance of peace, and their increasing 
finances, might in time overcome." It was then not a year since 
Waterloo had been won. 

But, in the meantime, whilst the property of the Society was 
receiving much injury from the cramped space into which it was 




o 

00 



H 
O 



X 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



59 



necessary to crowd it, the unfortunate Committee were repeatedly 
in the receipt of vexatious notices, apparently from the proprietor 
of the rooms, who was not unnaturally somewhat impatient at 
the long delay in giving them up, and who wished to offer them 
for public sale. 

We have, however, gained greatly by that delay, for no more 
central site than that ultimately fixed upon could possibly have 
been obtained, when the necessities of the two towns of Newcastle 
and Gateshead are considered. The Cross House site, now occu- 
pied by livery stables and offices, and extending from Westgate 
Street to Fenkle Street in breadth, and from Westgate Street to 
Clayton Street in length, might have been purchased in 1815 for 
;^840. That sum was considered to be so large that the Com- 
mittee saw no prospect of effecting its purchase, and afterwards 
completing the requisite buildings, by any funds which it was 
probable that they could raise. So the concert-room attached 
to the Turk's Head was considered. It was entered through a 
public inn yard ; was too small ; and " it would have been 
scarcely consistent with the liberal principles on which the 
Society would choose to act to induce the proprietor to detach 
it from its present connection with the Turk's Head; or to 
deprive the town of almost the only room which it is possible to 
engage for various public purposes." 

The next place thought about was the Circus, near that fine 
old pleasure-ground, the Forth, which has had so recently as 1846 
to make way for the Central Railway Station and its surround- 
ings — Newcastle losing thereby one of the most charming of 
mediaeval pleasure-grounds. The Government had been using 
the Circus as a tobacco warehouse, and it was a great shell of a 
building which could be made to do all that was necessary. But 
the consequent alterations would cost almost as much as " an 
original building," a considerable annual rent would be asked, 



6o 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY, 



6i 



and in those days, the town being much more compact than it 
is in ours, the Circus was thought to be " at so great a distance 
from a very large majority of the members," that the situation 
formed an insuperable objection. 

How curiously the existence of streets and houses changes 
ideas of distance. The Central Station is scarcely nowadays 
looked upon as too far away for a walk from Northumberland 
Street, or even from the Barras Bridge, but these were outlying 
districts of Newcastle at the time of which I write. Miles of 
what was then beautiful country have, in every direction, been 
swallowed up by the ugly town, and we think little of walking 
distances every day which our forefathers looked upon as some- 
thing of journeys. 

Then a field outside the Walls, opposite to the Baths, vacant 
ground opposite Charlotte Square, a site on the Castle Mount 
in the immediate vicinity of the New Courts and the Castle, 
another at the foot of Westgate Road, and a combination of the 
building for the Society with an intended new Corn Exchange, 
were successively taken into consideration. I have already 
explained that the Committee advised the annual meeting in 
1815 to confirm their treaty with the Corporation for the New 
Bridge Street site. This was not done. On the contrary, at a 
special meeting held on May 2nd of that year the members 
rejected this site, but instructed the Committee to purchase a 
freehold piece of ground adjoining it, or any other that might be 
found commodious, if it could be obtained for a sum not ex- 
ceeding £1000 ; and they sanctioned the election of a hundred 
life members, who were each to pay twenty-one pounds. 

But the Committee, failing to find such a site, called another 
special meeting for the 22nd September following, and it was 
then resolved to accept the land granted by the Corporation, 
and to build upon it so soon as the funds of the Society would 



admit of it. The Town Clerk had already prepared a lease of 
the site at the annual rent of £2, and the first half-year's rent 
had been paid, and rent continued to be paid up to Michaelmas, 
1 82 1. The Corporation had certainly acted handsomely towards 
the Society in granting it so much land at a nominal rental. 
It is interesting to note that the site in question is almost 
opposite to that now occupied in the same street by the Public 
Library. The Committee were, at the same meeting, desired to 
consider and report upon the propriety of a private Act of 
Parliament being obtained to enable the Society to raise money 
for a suitable building, and to give it power to regulate its 
proceedings. 

I have already shown how slowly the requisite funds came 
to hand, but the necessity for quitting the Old Assembly Rooms 
seems (with the advent of a new proprietor) to have diminished, 
for attempts were made to alter them so as to obtain more 
book-space and greater comfort for the members, and the 
reading-room was divided from the assembly-room by a per- 
manent screen. In January 1818, amidst the cheers of a great 
crowd, some of the shops in Mosley Street and elsewhere were 
for the first time lighted with gas, and, by the middle of that 
year, the Society abandoned oil-lamps and candles in favour of 
the new illuminant. The introduction of the gas-light was looked 
upon as, and undoubtedly was, a great improvement, and it was 
expected to be " a considerable saving in the article of expense," 
which is not quite so certain at its then cost' From 1817 to 
1 82 1, the Reports say little about the question of new premises, 
but the building fund was, all the time, steadily increasing. 

But on November 6th of the last year, a special meeting was 
held " for the express purpose of taking into consideration the 
question of a proper site for the new building;" and at this 
meeting it was finally resolved to surrender the Corporation 



sr 



II 



62 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



lease with grateful thanks, and to take over a site in Westgate 
Street which had been purchased for the purpose by Dr. 
Headlam and certain gentlemen associated with him. The 
names of these gentlemen were inserted in the Annual Report 
of 1822, " that posterity may have the opportunity of knowing to 
whom the Society was obliged for this public-spirited measure." 
I am therefore in honour bound to record them here. They 
were : " Isaac Cookson, Esq., C. W. Bigge, Esq., James Losh, 
Esq., R. W. Brandling, Esq., Isaac Cookson, jun., Esq., Thomas 
H- Bigge, Esq., Thos. Cookson, Esq., Thomas Fenwick, Esq., 
Sir R. S. Hawks, Rev. Anthony Hedley, Dr. Ramsay, William' 
Boyd, Esq.. Thomas Davidson, Esq., John Davidson, Esq., 
Armorer Donkin, Esq., Joseph Bainbridge, Esq., J. T. Brockett,' 
Esq., John Adamson, Esq., William Fife, Esq., William Moore,' 
Esq., Mr. Charnley, Mr. Henry Marshall, William Thomas, Esq.,' 
Dixon Brown, Esq., Dr. Headlam, Rev. I. Headlam." 

In those more formal days, it must have been no small 
burden upon the Secretaries of the Society properly to apportion 
the Misters and Esquires amongst subscribers and committee- 
mea 

This is the first time that I have mentioned Dr. Headlam's 
name in connection with the Society, but he had been a member 
of it since 1803. Already he was zealous of good works, and so 
he continued through a long and honoured life. This century 
has seen no citizen more universally and justly respected and 
beloved. That "good gray head which all men knew," that 
kmdly voice, that keen glance, and that bent but distinguished 
figure, are delightful memories. His life was devoted to the 
highest interests of science and humanity, and to this city he 
was of infinite and unwearying service. When he died in 1865 
he had been a member of our Society for sixty-two years ; he 
had served it first as a Committee-man, and then as a Vice- 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



63 



President, and from 1850 to 1855 he was its energetic and 
honoured President 

The site of the proposed building cost a thousand pounds, 
and the building itself was on no account to cost more than 
four thousand pounds. So said the circular which the Secretaries 
speedily laid before the more opulent members of the Society, 
and other gentlemen connected with the town and district. It 
also represented that "the fund already on hand might be 
stated at ;f 2200, and it was proposed to leave a mortgage on 
the premises of at least ;f 1000, as it seemed reasonable that 
posterity should pay in rent as much as the founders had paid 
for very inferior accommodations, besides accumulating so large 
a store of valuable property." 

And now, at the end of thirty years, "the few who survived 
of the founders of the Society gave up their trust with mingled 
feelings of serious recollection and encouraging hope." A 
generation had passed, but the Society still flourished. A very 
extensive and valuable library, a considerable apparatus of 
philosophical instruments, and several curious specimens of 
natural history had been accumulated; and now a site for a 
permanent home had been obtained, and twelve sets of plans 
for a suitable building lay on the table. The manner of 
ultimately selecting an architect was left to the decision of that 
annual meeting of 1822. 

And that meeting appointed a Building Committee, which 
should consist of Isaac Cookson, Esq., Charles William Bigge, 
Esq., James Losh, Esq., Dr. Headlam, and the treasurer, William 
Boyd, Esq., and four members to be chosen out of and by the 
Committee elected that night This building committee was to 
fix upon a plan, but subject to the sanction of a general meeting; 
to choose an architect, to make contracts, and to transact all 
business which was necessary for the due execution of the work: 



t* 



64 



THE BIRTH OF THE SOCIETY. 



but they were not to spend more than £^000, including the 
sum obtained for the old materials of the houses to be pulled 
down. 

What they did spend, and how, as well as the subsequent 
history of the Society's buildings, will be found in the following 
chapters. 




CHAPTER IV. 

THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 

E have now followed the wanderings of the Society 
since its birth in the New Assembly Rooms, and its 
infancy in the Old Dispensary in Low Friar Street, 
to St. Nicholas Church-yard, where it was not buried, but whence 
it escaped to the Old Assembly Rooms in the Groat Market, 
and it has at last got possession of a site of ground of its own, 
part of the gardens and outhouses of Bolbeck Hall, the seat 
of the Earls of Westmoreland, and called also Westmoreland 
Place. The house itself, Westmoreland House, was standing 
until a few years ago, a charming old English mansion, but 
was pulled down to make way for the Mining Institute. 
Upon this site it was resolved, in 1822, to erect the permanent 
home of the Literary and Philosophical Society, at a cost 
which was, on no account, to exceed ;£"4000. 

The Building Committee appointed Mr. John Green the 
architect of the undertaking, and his plans were laid before the 
members, and were formally approved of in April 1822. Mr 
Green did not let the grass grow under his feet : his contracts 
were soon ready, and that for masonry was let to Mr. John Ions 
of Gateshead, whilst the joiners' and carpenters* work fell to 
Mr. C. Burnup of the Barras Bridge, at that time a bridge in 

5 



r 



m 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



67 



fact. No time was lost in commencing operations, and, so soon 
as the 2nd of September, the foundation-stone of the new 
building was laid by no less a person than the Duke of Sussex, 
and with appropriate ceremonial. 

Then, as now, the approaching advent of royalty stirred the 
society of the town and district to its depths, and aroused an 
interesting amount of excitement amongst the inhabitants 
generally. There was to be high holiday, and there were 
circumstances connected with the person of the visitor which 
lent themselves to special pomp and ceremony. The Royal 
Duke was the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Ancient 
Freemasons of England, and the Provincial Grand Lodges of 
Northumberland and Durham, and the warranted Lodges of 
Craft Masonry then existing in the District, resolved to receive 
their Royal Brother with fitting honours. Fraternal circulars 
flew hither and thither. Banquets were contemplated, a Grand 
Masonic Festival was arranged. An elaborate order of pro- 
cession was prepared and promulgated ; full directions as to 
signals by blast of trumpet, as to different tickets of admission 
to the various functions or the different rendezvous, and as to 
the dress to be worn, were given ; the Brethren were all to be 
in black (Regimentals excepted), with regulation aprons and 
white gloves. Upon the great day, the Provincial Grand 
Lodge was to assume the high character of the Supreme Grand 
Lodge of England. 

But other bodies were also taking steps of a careful and 
weighty nature to ensure the due reception of so distinguished a 
visitor. The Mayor, Sheriff; and other members of the Cor- 
poration were unremitting in their exertions : platforms were 
erected ; a throne was prepared ; and songs were written. The 
poetry might be of a somewhat dubious character, but the 
sentiment was loyalty itself, trig loyalty. It is possible that the 



\ 



precise and detailed character of the compliments with which 
each verse was filled somewhat puzzled even the royal recipient, 
for, with all his princely virtues, the Duke of Sussex could 
scarcely be truthfully said to " range in wisdom's sphere," and 
he was not supposed by the uninitiated to " diffuse learning bright 
around." It was, no doubt, simple and natural enough to hail 
the principal performer on such an august occasion as " Royal 
Star," and, from his portrait, it is clear that, as a star, he was of 
the first magnitude. But I must quote in its entirety the open- 
ing verse of this song, " dedicated (by Permission) to the Right 
Worshipful Aubone Surtees, Esq., Mayor": — 

"The beauteous orb of light had rose, 

And spread the curtain of the sky. 
When science woke from soft repose 

To friendship, love, and masonry ! 
Ye kindred powers ! united shine, 

To ages yet unborn be shown : — 
Great Sussex now has crossed the Tyne, 

And laid the temple's corner-stone." • 

It was little wonder that the great event made a durdum 
in our good old town. The presence, even the anticipated 
presence, of royalty has a curiously exciting and upsetting effect 
upon people who are usually calm, quiet, and sensible. And 
then we English folk are such rigid formalists. In a town which 
is a county in itself, and which rejoices in a Sheriff as well as 
a Mayor, it is evident that somewhat unusually difficult ques- 
tions of precedence and ceremonial must arise. Nowadays, of 
course, they have been systematised for a long time, like every- 
thing else. Our high civic dignitaries are no longer "in a 
parlous state," for, unlike the Shepherd of our favourite drama, 
they have "been to Court," and Mayors, Sheriffs, and even 



U 



LA-jr.^_ ^L 



6S 



THE BUILD ING OF THE HOUSE. 



Town Clerks, wear, upon (Treat occasions, cocked hats, and 
knee-breeches, and silk stockings, and swords, and other mar- 
vellous items of costume " fearfully and w^onderfully made." 
" How we apples do swim." Remembering recent incidents of 
civic dignity, and reading between the lines, I gather from the 
detailed accounts of the preparations and their ultimate carrying 
out, that there had been certain points of difficulty to arrange 
between the Mayor and Sheriff, but that all these had that ended 
in a judicious compromise which gave to each that which was 
his due. 

The Royal Duke was the guest of the famous John George 
Lambton, who then represented the county of Durham in Parlia- 
ment, and who was the idol of the Durham people ; and that 
not without cause, for not only was he the son of the great and 
good man, William Henry Lambton, one of the most advanced 
of the reformers of the eighteenth century, chairman of the 
Society of the Friends of the People, and earnest in his bitter 
antagonism to negro slavery, but John George Lambton had 
himself carried forward the principles which he had inherited. 
He brought forward a Reform Bill in 1819 of so advanced a 
character that several of its provisions have only become law 
during the past quarter of a century, and some are still to be 
carried. This is not the place for his biography, although," 
strange to say, it has not yet appeared. That it should not 
have done so is a national loss, for there is none other man who 
has done comparable service to the nation of whom so little is 
yet known. There must surely be abundant stores of the neces- 
sary material in the archives of Lambton Castle and Howick 
Hall. John George Lambton is the man who, when he had 
(alas the day) become the first Earl of Durham, saved Canada 
to England, and established our colonial system. He returned 
home to receive coolness from his friends and cruel and wicked 




JOHN GEORGE LAMBTON, M.P. 
AFTERWARDS THE FIRST EARL OF DURHAM. 



ti 



6S 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



Town Clerks, wear, upon great occasions, cocked hats, and 
knee-breeches, and silk stockings, and swords, and other mar- 
vellous items of costume "fearfully and wonderfully made." 
" How we apples do swim." Remembering recent incidents of 
civic dignity, and reading between the lines, I gather from the 
detailed accounts of the preparations and their ultimate carrying 
out, that there had been certain points of difficulty to arrange 
between the Mayor and Sheriff, but that all these had that ended 
in a judicious compromise which gave to each that which was 
his due. 

The Royal Duke was the guest of the famous John George 
Lambton, who then represented the county of Durham in Parlia- 
ment, and who was the idol of the Durham people ; and that 
not without cause, for not only was he the son of the great and 
good man, William Henry Lambton, one of the most advanced 
of the reformers of the eighteenth century, chairman of the 
Society of the Friends of the People, and earnest in his bitter 
antagonism to negro slavery, but John George Lambton had 
himself carried forward the principles which he had inherited. 
He brought forward a Reform Bill in 1819 of so advanced a 
character that several of its provisions have only become law 
during the past quarter of a century, and some are still to be 
carried. This is not the place for his biography, although, 
strange to say, it has not yet appeared. That it should not 
have done so is a national loss, for there is none other man who 
has done comparable service to the nation of whom so little is 
yet known. There must surely be abundant stores of the neces- 
sary material in the archives of Lambton Castle and Howick 
Hall. John George Lambton is the man who, when he had 
(alas the day) become the first Earl of Durham, saved Canada 
to England, and established our colonial system. He returned 
home to receive coolness from his friends and cruel and wicked 




JOHN GEORGE LAMBTON, M.p. 
AFTERWARDS THE fIRST EARL OF DURHAAL 



I 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



69 



calumny and contempt from his political foes, and died a dis- 
appointed man ; but all men nowadays unite in acknowledging 
that in him we had one of our greatest Northerners, and our 
country one of the noblest of her sons. 

The Royal Duke, as I have said, was the guest of the county 
member who was popularly known as " Radical Jack," and on 
the morning of the 2nd September, 1822, he and his party 
drove over to Gateshead in the Lambton carriages. But when 
the cortege approached the town, the horses were taken out by 
the enthusiastic crowd, and the Duke and the party were 
dragged by "prodigious multitudes" of the delighted inhabi- 
tants down High Street and the Bottle Bank to the Tyne 
Bridge. For the Royal Duke it must have been the most 
thrilling moment of his life when he made the descent of the 
narrow, winding, and precipitous bank, at erratic and break- 
neck speed. The people waiting upon the bridge must have 
shared the thrill. "An immense mass of people was seen 
pouring down from the streets of Gateshead to the Bridge; 
the street seemed literally choaked, and in the centre of the 
mass appeared the carriage of Mr. Lambton, borne as it were 
along upon the shoulders of the people." 

Upon the Bridge a vast multitude awaited the coming 
crowd. The "spirited Sheriff," Alfred Hall, Esq., had issued 
a notice to his friends that it was his intention to meet " His 
Royal Highness" at the Borough boundary, and he reached 
that boundary, in this instance the famous blue-stone on the 
Bridge, in much state, a procession having been formed at the 
Exchange, and proceeding to its position with the band of the 
South Tyne Hussars leading the way. When the carriage 
containing the Royal Duke arrived at Newcastle, a royal salute 
was fired from the guns on the Castle, the bells of St Nicholas 
pealed forth, and the hosts of people gathered everywhere, in 



70 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



71 



the streets, at the windows, even " at the chimney-tops/* made 
so universal a shout, 

"that old Tyne trembled underneath his banks.** 

# 

But the constables had to make a free and hearty use of their 
staves before the spirited Sheriff and the members for the 
Borough, Sir Matthew White Ridley and Mr. Cuthbert Ellison, 
could make their way to the Royal guest When they did at 
length arrive, the Sheriff tendered a brief but appropriate 
welcome in the name of " the ancient and very loyal town of 
Newcastle," and this was duly acknowledged. But when he 
turned to follow the band which was to march at the head of 
the procession into the town, the carriage containing Royalty 
could not follow the Sheriff. The Newcastle men thought that 
the pull should now become theirs, but the Gateshead men had 
got their hands well in and would not give up the ropes, and 
there was a fair and friendly contest between the parties. It 
ended in a compromise, the Newcastle men succeeding in 
getting two more ropes fixed to the carriage, and away it went 
at a great speed along the crowded Close, and drew up at 
" the door of the Mansion House amidst the enthusiastic cheers 
of an immense crowd of people." As it were by a miracle, no 
one was injured, and the carriage had only suffered to the extent 
of a broken pole and splinter-bar. 

" In the Drawing Room his Royal Highness was received by 
such an assemblage of beauty and fashion as is seldom witnessed. 
When his Royal Highness had taken his place, the Corporation 
advanced," and presented him with an address, which was read 
by the Recorder, Mr. R. Hopper Williamson, " in a very energetic 
manner." The Corporation next presented the Duke with the 
freedom of the town. After he had made a somewhat incoherent 
reply, the presenting began again. "Major Thompson was 



introduced, and had the honour of presenting a statement of 
the present garrison of Newcastle, and of regretting its inability 
to provide his Royal Highness with a guard of honour." Whence 
this inability proceeded does not appear. 

Then the company proceeded to the dining-room, where they 
partook of a dejeuner a la fourchettey the ladies being present 
until the speech-making began. A bumper was drunk to the 
health of the Royal visitor, and was duly acknowledged in a 
" neat speech." The King was toasted, and the Duke gave the 
Corporation of Newcastle, to which the Mayor responded. The 
Mayor was Aubone Surtees, a member of a good old Newcastle 
family, and nephew to Lady Eldon, whose romantic marriage 
with John Scott has already been mentioned. After this toast- 
ing was over, the Royal Grand Master " caused himself to be 
equipped with all his masonic badges," and stood on the steps 
of the Mansion House whilst a thousand brethren passed in 
procession before him, bearing all the insignia of the fraternity, 
banners, silver cups containing corn, wine, and oil, silver trowel 
and setting mallet, golden square, level, and plumb rule, the 
Book of Constitutions on a cushion, the Great Seal, the Sacred 
Law on a crimson velvet cushion, and so forth. 

When the rear of this " splendid and striking " procession 
reached the Mansion House, Mr. Lambton's carriage and six, 
with seven outriders, drew up to the steps, and the Duke of 
Sussex, Mr. Lambton, Sir M. W. Ridley, and the Mayor took 
their places in it, and the great cavalcade proceeded to Westgate 
Street There "a most numerous and respectable company" 
had assembled, and had whiled away the time of waiting in 
expectation by examining the vase containing the records to be 
for ever deposited, and the brass plate bearing the inscription 
for the foundation-stone. 

And they had not been badly employed. Ihe vase was 



jjk^-. 



72 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



presented by Mr. Price, the proprietor of the Durham and 
British Sheet Glass Works at Gateshead, and was desi<zned 
"to afford to posterity a specimen of the height to which the 
arts of glass-making and cutting had arrived." It is rather 
difficult to see how this admirable intention is to be fulfilled, 
as the vase was carefully embedded in the solid masonry of the 
building, and will, it is to be feared, be somewhat imperfect 
when the New Zealander inspects its ruins. But it is interesting- 
to learn how long Gateshead has shone in that department of 
industry, which has, in our own day, attained there its highest 
artistic development, so far as this country, at all events, is 
concerned. The one regret is that this loveliest of plastic 
materials should be so perishable. 

The vase in question was "an exquisitely-wrought glass 
vessel, thirteen inches long and three inches in diameter, and 
was richly cut with pointed diamonds and strawberry diamonds, 
rings, and twist." In those days the costly folly of cutting a 
material, which lends itself to moulding as none other does, had 
not been exposed. In the vase were deposited all the coins of 
George III.'s reign, the last report of the Society, a list of the 
members, and plans and elevations of the intended building. 
The brass plate was enclosed within strong plates of glass 
cemented together, and secured with a strong black oak frame. 
Upon one side it was inscribed thus : — 

" This Foundation Stone of a new building, to be erected for 
the use of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, was laid on the second day of September, 1822, by 
His Royal Highness Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of 
Sussex and Earl of Inverness, in Great Britain, Baron of 
Arklow, in Ireland, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the 
Garter, President of the Society of Arts, Colonel of the Royal 
Artillery Company, etc., etc., and Most Worshipful Grand Master 



I 



I 




SIR J. E. SWINBURNE, BART., 



F.R.S., F.S.A. 



72 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



presented by Mr. Price, the proprietor of the Durham and 
British Sheet Glass Works at Gateshead, and was designed 
" to afford to posterity a specimen of the height to which the 
arts of glass-making and cutting had arrived." It is rather 
difficult to see how this admirable intention is to be fulfilled, 
as the vase was carefully embedded in the solid masonry of the 
building, and will, it is to be feared, be somewhat imperfect 
when the New Zealander inspects its ruins. But it is interesting 
to learn how long Gateshead has shone in that department of 
industry, which has, in our own day, attained there its highest 
artistic development, so far as this country, at all events, is 
concerned. The one regret is that this loveliest of plastic 
materials should be so perishable. 

The vase in question was "an exquisitely -wrought glass 
vessel, thirteen inches long and three inches in diameter, and 
was richly cut with pointed diamonds and strawberry diamonds, 
rings, and twist." In those days the costly folly of cutting a 
material, which lends itself to moulding as none other does, had 
not been exposed. In the vase were deposited all the coins of 
George III.'s reign, the last report of the Society, a list of the 
members, and plans and elevations of the intended building. 
The brass plate was enclosed within strong plates of glass 
cemented together, and secured with a strong black oak frame. 
Upon one side it was inscribed thus : — 

" This Foundation Stone of a new building, to be erected for 
the use of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne, was laid on the second day of September, 1822, by 
His Royal Highness Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of 
Sussex and Earl of Inverness, in Great Britain, Baron of 
Arklow, in Ireland, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the 
Garter, President of the Society of Arts, Colonel of the Royal 
Artillery Company, etc., etc., and Most Worshipful Grand Master 



i| 



/ 




SIR J. E. SWINHURNE, BART., F.R.S., F.S.A. 



I 

1 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



n 



of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of England ; 
assisted by Sir J. E. Swinburne, Bart, F.R.S. and F.S.A., Pro- 
vincial Grand Master of Northumberland, and President of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society; and by J. G. Lambton, Esq., 
M.P., Provincial Grand Master of Durham." 

Upon the other side the foundation-stone was inscribed thus : — 

©fficets ot tbe Soctetg. 

President 
Sir J. E. Swinburne, Bart, F.R.S. and F.S.A. 

Vice-Presidents. 



Chas. W. BiGGE, Esq. 
James Losh, Esq. 



Isaac Cookson, Esq. 

ROBT. DOUBLEDAY, Esq. 



Treasurer, 
William Boyd, Esq. 

Committee. 



Mr. J. T. Brockett, F.S.A. 

Mr. T. Hodgson. 

Mr. J. Murray. 

Mr. Wm. Armstrong. 

Mr. E. Charnley. 

Mr. G. Burnett. 



Mr. N. J. Winch, F.L.S. 
Mr. H. Atkinson. 
Mr. Wm. Falla. 
Rev. J. CoLLiNSON, M.A. 

Mr. T. DoUBLEDAY. 

Mr. H. Edmondston. 



Building Committee^ 



C. W. BiGGE, Esq. 
James Losh, Esq. 
Isaac Cookson, Esq. 
T. E. Headlam, MD. 
Wm. Boyd, Esq. 



Mr. J. T. Brockett. 
Mr. T. Hodgson. 
Mr. W. Armstrong. 



Mr. G. Burnett. 
Architect — John Green. 

« 

The procession began to draw near to the site for the build- 
ing about two o'clock in the afternoon. The pressure of the 



74 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



dense crowd was so severe that it was difficult to make progress 
Our forefathers do not seem to have quite understood the art of 
keeping great numbers of people in good order. It is amusing 
to learn that, before the Duke could be driven up to the entrance 
of the place prepared for the ceremony, there were several " most 
active scuffles between the constables and the crowd." The 
poor constables ! They can scarcely have entered fully into the 
enjoyment of the day, for even the delight of freely indulging in 
the agreeable pastime of cudgelling your fellow-citizens with the 
impunity of authority must pall with too constant repetition. 
And then, at last, the crowd fairly got the upper hand. When 
the brethren reached the stand, they " entered in great confusion, 
it being impossible to preserve anything like order from the 
pressure of the crowd, whose attacks were at length found irresist- 
ible, for in spite of the efforts of the constables and the hearty 
blows dealt by them, the outer barriers were fairly borne down, 
and an indiscriminate entry ensued. The area became in conse- 
quence so crowded as only to allow sufficient room for the 
ceremony." 

But whatever temporary annoyance might be occasioned by 
the disorder, the "grand and imposing" ceremony was duly 
performed ; the stone well and truly laid ; three short speeches 
were made; and, whilst the brethren left the ground with 
difficulty, the Duke inspected the plans of the building. Then 
" the Committee, on his Royal Highness rising, formed around 
him in order to preserve him from the pressure of the crowd, a 
service which was not performed without much exertion. After 
a severe struggle," the carriage was at length safely reached, and 
the Turk's Head Inn was the next place to be visited, where a 
Lodge was held at once, and closed soon after four o'clock. 

" From labour to refreshment " is the favourite motto of the 
ancient and worthy craft, and no great ceremony can be con- 




THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 

sidered complete without " victuals and drink." There was yet 
to be a banquet, and the Duke had requested that it should be 
open to any gentleman who might wish to attend it It was to 
be given in the Assembly Rooms, and there the Royal guest 
was at length allowed to rest in a room which had been specially 
prepared for him. But the rest was rather short, for dinner 
was served shortly after five o'clock, a " most sumptuous" dinner, 
consisting of turtle, venison, grouse, and every other delicacy in 

season. 

But the tale of the viands moves us less than the curious 
details respecting the Chairmen and the speeches. In both of 
these points it was indisputably " most sumptuous," and I must 
go somewhat minutely into the account of them, even at the 
risk of being more tedious than usual. For, in these degenerate 
days, we dine late, eat little, and drink less; speeches after 
dinner have a blessed tendency to grow shorter, and that time- 
honoured abomination, the formal toast list, promises, at no 
distant date, entirely to disappear. 

Far otherwise was it seventy years ago, as the sequel will 
abundantly prove. Upon this occasion the chair was, in the 
first instance, taken by the senior member for the borough, the 
second Sir Matthew White Ridley, who, when (in the good old 
fashion) the cloth was removed, gave " The King," a toast which 
was received with three times three, " God save the King," and a 
salute fired by the guns on the Castle. Next came " The Royal 
Family," "The Duke of York and the Army" (Tune, "The 
Duke of York's March"), "The Duke of Clarence and the Navy" 
(Tune, " Hearts of Oak"). But words nearly failed the good 
Chairman when he came to the next toast : " He felt it was 
not in the power of language to express the respect with 
which they wished to receive His Royal Highness the Duke of 
Sussex that day. But he did not think that silence would be 



7^ 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



77 



altogether proper on the present occasion," and so the toast 
was given, and "drunk with most rapturous applause, and was also 
marked by a royal salute from the guns on the Castle." After 
the amount of firing done that day, the fact that the old Castle 
continued to stand its ground is an excellent tribute to the 
building qualities of our Norman conquerors. 

The response which the Duke of Sussex made to this drink- 
ing of his own health has a certain interest which is all its own. 
Omitting what I may call the purely complimentary part of his 
speech, he said : " My Hon. Friend with great propriety intro- 
duced my name as connected with the House of Brunswick, 
that family which had been called to the throne of these Realms, 
that came over to this country under a solemn compact of civil 
and religious liberty; a principle I have always laid down for 
the guidance of my public conduct, — a principle which I am sure 
is congenial with the feelings of every member of the Royal 
Family." 

The good man had got this hazy notion upon the brain 
and it came out upon every occasion with parrot-like iteration. 
Compare with the above extract from his after-dinner speech the 
following gem from his preprandial exhortation to " Mr. Mayor, 
Recorder, Aldermen, Sheriff, and Common Council of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne " at the Mansion House. He then said : " I perfectly 
agree with you. Gentlemen, that it was upon the principles of 
civil and religious liberty that that branch of the Royal Family 
to which I belong was called to preside over these realms. It 
is, therefore, with great sincerity and pleasure that I can assure 
you, that as I always have, so I ever shall regulate my public ' 
conduct in conformity with such conviction." 

Both speeches, or both editions of the speech, are a little 
hazy, and perhaps slightly inaccurate — historically at all events 
— but on the second occasion the Duke was evidently resolved 



that he would not disturb the harmony of the evening, for he 
went on to say: " In a company like this, I am aware it would 
be extremely improper to go beyond certain lengths" (com- 
moners, at all events, would say in any company, nowadays), 
"but there are sentiments which must be congenial to the 
feelings of every one, and I should be extremely sorry if any- 
thing should occur to disturb the harmony or shock the good 
sense of this company." (The reader involuntarily asks, " What- 
ever astounding thing is he going to do or say?" But the 
speech at this point recalls Captain Cuttle's declamation, or the 
speeches of certain local celebrities : it becomes incoherent and 
spasmodic.) "All I say is that I am proud of being a member 
of the Royal Family, denominated the House of Brunswick. 
I say denominated, because it is to this country that we are 
indebted for the title and rank in society of being so. I am, 
therefore, not unlikely to be a friend and supporter of English 
Royalty ; but I do not like Foreign Royalty. I like the English 
Constitution. I like the principle that the King can do no 
wrong; but I do not wish the evasion of responsibility. I 
respect and love the aristocracy of the country, as a link 
between the Sovereign and the People ; but I do not like 
oligarchy. I am an admirer and supporter of the Rights of the 
People ; but it is not my interest, and I am not paid for being a 
Republican." (A right royal idea, to be sure: it is a mere 
money question, after all : he " did not get the fees.") " Such, 
gentlemen, are briefly my principles, and I thought it but fair, 
as you have done me the honour of electing me a citizen of 
Newcastle, that you should know a little of my principles.'* 
Truly, a precious little 1 

After this brilliant effort, the Duke proposed " The health of 
the President and Members of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society of Newcastle," to which Mr. Bigge responded. Sir C 



78 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



M. Monck — the first Middleton who took the name of Monck, a 
great lover of Greece, whose cause he warmly supported, and 
whose architecture he endeavoured to adapt, at Belsay, to 
English domestic requirements — followed with " The health of 
His Royal Highness the Grand Master of England, and the 
Free Masons of England, particularly those who had assisted in 
the proceedings of that day." The Grand Master made another 
speech, and then proposed "The Chairman," who found the 
difficulty of speaking, which he had mentioned at an earlier 
period of the entertainment, increased, but he spoke neverthe- 
less, and he concluded by giving " The health of the new Free 
Burgess of Newcastle, his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex," 
and upon this the band struck up the remarkably appropriate 
tune, "May we ne'er want a friend or a bottle to give him." 
The Duke was equal to the occasion, and " felt it his duty to give 
* The Mayor and Corporation.* " In reply the Mayor made " an 
animated speech," and sat down, amidst reiterated cheers, 
" lamenting that it was not in his power to express his feelings 
more strongly." It was a rather dubious compliment to cheer 
that statement, unless it was felt that he had succeeded in going 
quite far enough. The appreciative band struck up, with a 
slight suspicion of sarcasm, " What will the people say ? " 

The next health was that of Mr. J. G. Lambton, proposed 
by the chairman, and responded to by the good Radical in a long 
speech about the virtues of the Royal Family in general, and of 
this special member of it in particular, and he " sat down amid 
rapturous applause." It is difficult now to read the fulsome 
periods of the great and advanced Radical orator of that day 
without thankfully recognising that in the interval the feeling 
about royalty has grown less slavish, amongst sensible people at 
all events, although at least equal respect is paid where respect 
is due. 



< .'. 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



79 



And now the toasting left the Duke of Sussex alone for a 
little, although he took his part manfully in the more general 
work. The chairman proposed "The Lord-Lieutenant of 
the County," and his Royal Highness gave "The Fair Sex 
of the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne," concluding by a facetious 
remark which caused great merriment throughout the room, 
but which it was apparently considered safer not to reproduce 
in print. After this diversion, Mr. Mayor toasted "The 
Members for the Town," and Sir M. W. Ridley, in reply, made 
his ninth speech. Mr. Ellison, who had been Sir Matthew's 
colleague for fourteen years, and who was father to the late 
Lady Northbourne, also responded to the toast, and then the 
chairman seems to have got his second wind. He gave in rapid 
succession, " Prosperity to both sides of the Tyne," upon which 
our local " national anthem," " The Keel Row," was played ; 
"The health of Dr. Charles Hutton," the eminent mathema- 
tician, and a native of the town, who only lived into January of 
the following year ; and then, returning once more to his first 
love, " The health of the Duke of Sussex as President of the 
Society of Arts and Manufactures," which he recommended 
"should be drunk with three times three, or nine times nine, 
in their hearts "—a truly difficult feat to perform ! 

Up to this time the toasts had, with one exception, but little 
reference to the men who had really worked at the Society, and 
but for whose wise and devoted labours the very gathering itself 
would not have been. This is, as a rule, the case at all great 
meetings of a similar kind. Those who have given their lives 
to the work, patiently, ungrudgingly, and zealously, and who 
know every detail of it thoroughly, have the pleasure and satis- 
faction of seeing the men who have got bigger names, and who 
have the inestimable advantage of complete ignorance of the 
matter in hand— who, like other figure-heads, are of small use 



I 



A 



80 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



Si 



and of uncertain ornamentation, — calmly and dignifiedly enter 
into their labours, and appropriate the merit of them with the 
air of those who confer favours upon society in general, and 
upon them in particular. 

But now, when eighteen toasts had been drunk and twenty- 
seven speeches made, and the gentleman who had spent a few 
hours in the Society's service had been toasted five separate 
times, Mr. Ellison " rose to propose the health of a gentleman 
whose character endeared him to all who had the pleasure of 
his acquaintance, and whose name was associated with those 
of the founders of the Literary and Philosophical Society, of 
which he might be called both the Father and God-Father, — the 
Rev. William Turner." 

The reply was characteristic : worthy of the man, and more 
than worthy of the occasion. There was no grovelling at the 
feet of royalty, no simulated paralysis of the vocal chords, 
about the good, honest Unitarian minister. Simply acknow- 
ledging that the first idea of the Society had been his, and 
accepting the honourable connection of his name with it, he 
pledged himself to further exertions for its success. But he 
scorned, as all men should scorn, to appropriate to himself 
praise which was properly another's. "He could claim for 
himself very little merit as to that important feature of its plan 
which had called for the erection of the building of which their 
Royal visitor had that day laid the foundation-stone. The 
object of the paper which had the good fortune to give birth to 
this Society contemplated chiefly conversation and the reading 
of literary essays ; the accumulation of books and the collection 
of a museum were treated in it as distant, though desirable, 
objects." He then went on to explain who was the author of 
the library scheme, "a reverend and learned associate in the 
establishment of the Society," no longer " among the number 



of its active supporters." " But it would be unjust to forget the 
real author of a great benefit received ; if therefore he might be 
permitted for once to break the order of toasts to be given from 
the Chair, he would feel gratified in being allowed to propose 
" The Rev. Edward Moises, the Father of the Library," which 
was accordingly drunk, but apparently without applause. Prob- 
ably the breaking of the formal toast list was felt to be a 
dangerous innovation. 

The Rev. Edward Moises left the Society in 1809, because 
he did not approve of the course which was taken with reference 
to the lectures given by Mr. Turner in connection with the insti- 
tution. I shall have to treat of this matter more fully in a 
subsequent chapter. Other men of mark dropped away for 
very different reasons. The Recorder, Mr. Hopper Williamson, 
who was one of the first Vice-Presidents, withdrew from it at 
a very early date, because, alarmed by the atrocities of the 
French revolutionary leaders, and recognising how largely the 
idea of our Society was generated from the growth of such 
bodies in France, he dreaded (and not without reason) the 
levelling and disturbing influence of scientific discussion and 

observation. 

But to return to the toast list. The Worshipful the Mayor 
next took the matter in hand, and gave the healths of Lady 
Ridley and Mrs. Ellison, whilst each husband, as in duty bound, 
made suitable response. The Duke of Sussex was to sleep at. 
Blagdon that night, and now the hour of his departure drew 
nigh. The Chairman was commanded to explain that he had a 
toast to propose. " His Royal Highness then rose, and said, 
there were moments when perhaps it might be said it was a pity 
to have enjoyed them, as the remembrance of them was only 
productive of regret." The Royal guest's oratory was certainly 
original, consisting for the most part of a series of Delphic 



H 



82 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



utterances. You would certainly suppose, but for the context, 
that he was aUuding to forbidden pleasures. He went on to 
say, " Such, he could truly say, were his emotions on that 
occasion, for had he not spent so pleasant an evening, he should 
not have felt that regret which he then experienced, when he 
was obliged to take his leave of them, l^ut," added his Royal 
Highness, "the least said is best mended, and he would there- 
fore conclude by proposing a toast in the language of a favourite 
poet, and old friend of his. Captain Morris — 

' One toast, my good friends, I propose ere we pass, 
May life's sweetest concord be spent round our glass.' 

The pleasure which he had experienced on that day he only 
hoped was reciprocal, and that it would be lasting. In conclu- 
clusion, his Royal Highness emphatically and feelingly ex- 
claimed, ' God bless you all ! ' " 

A most sweet, literary, oratorical, and good-natured Prince, 
and pious withal. Happily for us we may still gaze on the 
counterfeit presentment of his features in the Society's com- 
mittee-room. He stands there in royal robes, and with a most 
conspicuous garter round his left knee. If we remove the 
clothes we have a jolly, fat, unintellectual man, from whom no 
great things would be expected, and the accidental clothes should 
not too greatly increase the severity of our judgment of a man 
who, at the least, was of a kindly disposition. 

He had completely won the hearts of the Newcastle folk 
gathered around that social board at the Assembly Rooms, and 
if we fail quite to catch the reason for the enthusiasm with 
which they greeted and treated him, we must picture the sym- 
pathetic influence of a general determination to be delighted, 
the stirring effect of words earnestly spoken, even when they 
do not bear the perusal of long subsequent years, the English 



J 




THE DUKE OF SUSSEX, K.G. 



li 



4\ 



i ' 



82 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



utterances. You would certainly suppose, but for the context, 
that he was alluding to forbidden pleasures. He went on to 
say, " Such, he could truly say, were his emotions on that 
occasion, for had he not spent so pleasant an evening, he should 
not have felt that regret which he then experienced, when he 
was obliged to take his leave of them. But," added his Royal 
Highness, " the least said is best mended, and he would there- 
fore conclude by proposing a toast in the language of a favourite 
poet, and old friend of his. Captain Morris — 

*One toast, my good friends, I propose ere we pass, 
May life's sweetest concord be spent round our glass.' 

The pleasure which he had experienced on that day he only 
hoped was reciprocal, and that it would be lasting. In conclu- 
clusion, his Royal Highness emphatically and feelingly ex- 
claimed, * God bless you all ! ' " 

A most sweet, literary, oratorical, and good-natured Prince, 
and pious withal. Happily for us we may still gaze on the 
counterfeit presentment of his features in the Society's com- 
mittee-room. He stands there in royal robes, and with a most 
conspicuous garter round his left knee. If we remove the 
clothes we have a jolly, fat, unintellectual man, from whom no 
great things would be expected, and the accidental clothes should 
not too greatly increase the severity of our judgment of a man 
who, at the least, was of a kindly disposition. 

He had completely won the hearts of the Newcastle folk 
gathered around that social board at the Assembly Rooms, and 
if we fail quite to catch the reason for the enthusiasm with 
which they greeted and treated him, we must picture the sym- 
pathetic influence of a general determination to be delighted, 
the stirring effect of words earnestly spoken, even when they 
do not bear the perusal of long subsequent years, the English 




THE DUKE OF SUSSEX, K.G. 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



83 



exultation in royalty, by which every class of the community is 
thoroughly permeated, and the genial and fraternal glow which 
a good dinner and its accompaniments diffuse throughout the 
system, and which awaken the more sentimental tendencies of 
the human heart 

The Prince retired from the banquet about half-past eight 
o'clock, amidst every demonstration of the most enthusiastic 
attachment and respect, the company all standing, and the band 
playing " God save the King." " Mr. Lambton, we regretted to 
observe, appeared extremely indisposed." 

And little wonder ! He had not been well to begin with, and 
the festivities of the day had already been somewhat prolonged 
for a sick man. The strong probability is that upon the following 
morning a large proportion of the company would also " appear 
extremely indisposed ; " for, whilst Sir Matthew White Ridley 
and Sir Charles Monck took the Royal Duke off to Blagdon, 
Mr. Ellison was called to the chair, and the fun began afresh, 
every new toast being drunk with three times three, and, as 
though that were not enough to relieve the pent-up feelings of 
the convivial company, the three times three was frequently 
followed by " loud cheering." 

The choice of Mr. Ellison must, for a moment, have seemed 
somewhat unfortunate to such valiant trencher-men, for he began 
by regretting his own delicate health, which would tend to his 
giving them but little satisfaction as their chairman. But he 
was still well able to get through more work than falls to the lot 
of most men who preside over a dinner in these degenerate days, 
and he was number two. He proposed "The health of Lady 
Louisa Lambton, and prosperity to the House of Lambton." 
Mr. Mayor then rose, and explaining, in rather a peculiar way 
why he had not included them in his former toast to the wives 
of the Borough Members, gave " Lady Loraine and the family 



«4 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



at Kirkharle," for which Sir Charles Loraine returned thanks 
"in a neat speech," which was received with much cheering. 
The chairman again apologised for his delicate health, but pro- 
ceeded to give " The Coal Trade,*' " The health of Sir Charles 
Monck," " who differed from him a little in opinion, but never 
in anything that concerned the interests of the town of New- 
castle," and " The health of Sir Charles Loraine," which Sir 
Charles Loraine duly responded to. 

The chairman then gave the health of the Sheriff of New- 
castle, who, in returning thanks, stated in terms how he revered 
the House of Brunswick, and how proud he was of "the 
attention paid him since he came into his present official 
situation." Have we not heard the echoes of that speech in the 
utterances of more recent civic dignitaries ? Next, the chairman 
" begged one more toast before he retired," and that proved to be 
" The Committee of Management, and thanks to them for their 
services." To this Mr. Thomas Hodgson, the editor and part 
proprietor of the Newcastle Chronicle, then a strongly Liberal 
paper, and one of the Rev. William Turner's congregation, 
replied upon behalf of the Committee of which he was an 
active member. 

And now Mr. Ellison was obliged to quit the chair. Only 
seven toasts had been given during his tenure of office, and ten 
speeches made, but he was in poor health, and was to be par- 
doned any shortcomings upon that account 

Sir Charley Loraine was his successor. He was one of an 
old Northumbrian family, and was the fifth member who bore 
the title of Baronet, but he does not seem to have been ^ 
remarkable otherwise. He began his duties on this occasion 
by proposing " Mrs. Mayoress." As the Mayor does not seem 
to have acknowledged the courtesy, we may presume that he 
too had retired from the festive board, and we can readily 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



85 



believe that the labours of the day had told heavily upon him. 
But the Rev. William Mark stepped into the gap. He began 
by giving his opinion " that clergymen should have nothing 
to do with politics, and that the more they interfered with 
them the less they did their duty as ministers." It is a 
view which is still held, and even practised where neither 
"Squoire, nor Choorch, nor Staate" happen to be involved 
in the special question of politics upon the carpet. But 
Mr. Mark went on to utter a dark saying which, at this dis- 
tance of time, it is difficult to understand. It has, however, a 
certain interest, for we see that the happy diners were growing 
more confidential if less intelligible. " Whether it might impede 
his preferment or not," he valiantly said, " he would propose the 
health of the Heir Apparent of the House of Lambton, and 
may he live to succeed his father — and may he inherit his 
father's virtues — may he inherit his father's abilities — and — 
what shall I say — ^yes, I will — may he inherit his father's 
principles" 

We must all hope that the heroism of this courageous 
clergyman neither led him into any kind of trouble nor stood in 
the way of his receiving the preferment which he was evidently 
expecting. 

After this the Chairman proposed the health of Mr. Green, the 
architect of the intended new building, and he returned thanks 
for the very flattering compliment paid him. Then was drunk 
"the Committee of these Rooms, and thanks to them for 
granting the use of the large room on the present occasion." 
And now Mr. Emerson Charnley was allowed to take up the 
tale. The famous bookseller, son of a famous bookseller, was 
an active member of the Committee, and took a leading part 
in the affairs of the town, which were, indeed, to some extent 
settled in his back-shop in the Bigg Market He now gave a 



86 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE. 



toast which he thought should have been given at an earlier 
part of the evening. He explained that not only was a building 
contemplated, but also an extensive museum of natural history. 
The foundation-stone of the former had been laid that day, the 
latter the Society had been enabled to purchase. He spoke 
of the exertions of Mr. Fox, the value of the collection, the 
generosity of the subscriptions towards its cost, and said that 
"the celebrated Bewick had contributed his subscription and 
sanction to the plan, a name that did honour to the country, 
but more especially our own neighbourhood. He concluded 
by hoping that ere long we should have such a collection as 
would teach the young and improve the old in this delightful 
science, and equal to any other collection of Natural History in 
this kingdom. Mr. C. then gave the health of Mr. G. T. Fox 
and the Subscribers to the Wycliffe Museum." 

After this had been duly honoured, the Chairman proposed 
*' The Heir to the House of Blagdon," and at a quarter past ten 
he left the chair. But this by no means meant that the con- 
viviality of the evening was at an end. The Sheriff was fully 
equal to the emergency, and became the fourth Chairman, 
leading off at once with the important toast of " Prosperity to 
the Shipping interests of this Kingdom." 

But at this point the reporter broke down. He had heard 
thirty.five toasts proposed and fifty-three speeches made, and it 
is as ill to have a surfeit of good things as to starve. The record 
states that "various other toasts were drunk " (probably not the 
only things which were drunk), " and the hilarity of the evening 
prolonged to a late hour. Thus ended the enjoyments of one ^ 
of the most animated days Newcastle ever witnessed." 

I have dealt with this " animated day " in so much detail 
because its story illustrates more forcibly than anything else 
with which I am acquainted the many changes, in mind and 



THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE, 



87 



in manners, which the past seventy years have brought. We 
read in the house which our fathers builded, but the world in 
which that house stands is a new world, and the people by 
whom it is inhabited are another people. 

It may even be that in some things we are, after all, better 
than our fathers. 



Ii 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



89 



! 




CHAPTER V. 
THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 

E saw in the last chapter with how much good-will the 
building of the Society's new house was begun. We 
are now to learn that in such a great undertaking 
the old proverb, Ce riest que le premier pas qui coAte, is not 
correct. No proverb is always correct ; its truth depends upon 
your standpoint It is but seldom in actual life that the anti- 
cipation and the realisation correspond. The building of the 
home for the Society proved no exception to this rule. We 
have seen that the expenditure of the Building Committee was 
nominally restricted to £\ooo, but within six months of the 
laying of the foundation-stone they reported to the annual 
meeting of the Society that they contemplated certain altera- 
tions in the architect's plans, which would entail an additional 
expenditure of at least ;^iooo. The meeting agreed to the 
alterations proposed by the Committee. The sum of about 
^3600 had been subscribed or promised towards the expense 
of the building, but the site had cost more than £\ 100, and it 
was proposed to meet the deficiency by obtaining a mortgage 
upon the premises, and the sum of £2000 had already been 
offered at 41^ per cent, as low a rate for such an advance in 
those days as it would be high now. Then it was also agreed 



that the annual subscription should remain a guinea and a half, 
and thus would not only part of the extra cost of the building 
be defrayed, but the extra expense of cleaning, lighting, and 
taking care of it when finished, would also be provided. 

The architect, Mr. Green, lost no time over getting the 
requisite specifications ready. The masonry contract was let, 
as I have already stated, to Mr. Ions, of Gateshead, at ^I977> 
and that for joiner's and carpenter's work to Mr. Cuthbert Burnup 
for £\\2g. The rate of progress which the contractors made 
was highly satisfactory at first— at all events, when all the 
difficulties were taken into consideration. During the first 
winter, for an unusually long time, out-of-doors work was 
not possible, for there was what we in this part of the country 
know as " weather " in abundance. In January and February, 
1823, there was a six weeks' storm of unusual violence. Travel- 
ling in any shape was impracticable for part of the time. The 
stage-coaches stayed in the town. The mail coach had to be 
abandoned near Swarland, and no trace of it was visible until 
after many days' thaw. On one day, during the storm, the 
mails for the north were despatched on thirteen saddle-horses. 
At one place on Gateshead Fell the snow was level with the top 
of a two-storey house, and here the guard of the London mail 
narrowly escaped a terrible death. Well is it described as " a 
dreadful snowstorm." 

But this makes the rapid progress of the building all the 
more remarkable. The Building Committee became rather too 
sanguine, and ventured to assure the Society that it would be 
ready for occupation before the end of 1824. At the annual 
meeting held in March of that year, they speak of the exterior 
as completed, and say that "owing to the very favourable 
winter, no inconvenience has been experienced" from delays 
consequent upon the enlargement of the building (already 



^ 



I 
. ! 



r 



90 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 






alluded to) and certain difficulty in obtaining stone, but " tl.e 
different kinds of work have proceeded in such regular and 
uninterrupted order, that not only has the building been com- 
pletely covered in without receiving the slightest injury from the 
weather, but the Society may assure itself of the certainty of being 
in the occupation of it before the close of the year. Much, indeed, 
remains to be done ; but from the progress which all the work 
is now making, there is no fear of its being completed before 
that time," I suppose that they really meant that there was no 
fear of its not being completed, but completed it was not. They 
were too hopeful, and when March again came round the Society 
had not yet taken possession, but the members seem to have 
been quite satisfied with the progress which had been made. 
Indeed, at the annual meeting in 1825 the Building Committee 
expressed their "highest satisfaction with the attention and 
skill of all employed in the erection," and their view appears to 
have been generally adopted. 

The most important question which they had then to con- 
sider was that of the best method of lighting the building. I 
have explained how certain shops in the town had been lighted 
with gas since January 181 8, but coal gas was still an expensive 
luxury, and people had no real knowledge of what was the best 
way of utilising it, and other cheaper methods of artificial 
illumination were much pushed. There was somewhat the same 
kind of feeling about this new illuminant as there still is about 
the electric light, and we shall see in a later part of this 
chapter how, at the present time and in this matter of lighting, 
history is repeating itself The Building Committee had 
carefully pondered the question, and, wishing to get the most 
economical, cleanly, and effective system, they had determined 
to adopt oil gas. Its greater cleanliness and brilliancy than 
coal gas were acknowledged, and the supply would be under their 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



91 



own control. At a cost of ^51 ids., exclusive of the gasometer, 
they had obtained a small apparatus from the patentees, and 
the Society was to manufacture its own oil gas. The cost of 
the apparatus proved to be but a small part of the entire 
expense, the piping, gasometer, and plumber's work coming 
together to nearly five times as much. And the whole of this 
was thrown away or nearly so, for in two years the Committee 
reported that the apparatus was too small, was " exceedingly 
difficult to manage, and was, besides, continually choaking up." 
They, therefore, must either replace it with a larger apparatus or 
make use of the town gas, and, in the state of the Society's 
funds, they recommended the latter expedient. 

The Committee went, in this report, into a detailed explana- 
tion of their reasons for advising the Society in the first instance 
to manufacture its own gas. In 1824 they had applied to the 
Gas Company to ascertain at what price that company would 
supply the number of lights wanted. They asked £1 a light, 
or, if supplied by measurement, 12s. 6d. per thousand feet of gas. 
This was, of course, a most disheartening demand. The Com- 
mittee correctly believed that the payment for gas consumed 
would be more satisfactory to all parties if it were by measure- 
ment and not by burners. But in 1824 "gas-meters had not 
been introduced into the town, and from the accounts which the 
Committee had received of them, they were not themselves very 
strongly impressed with an opinion of their utility, nor did they 
know that the Company here would be willing to admit them ; the 
Committee had, in consequence, always thought that a gasometer 
on some part of the Society's premises would be necessary." 

But no sooner was the oil gas apparatus erected than the 
Committee discovered that the Gas Company were privately 
offering to supply several of the manufacturers of the town with 
gas at 7s. 6d. per thousand feet. Had this been known sooner, 



92 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



the oil gas experiment would never have been tried, but as the 
expense had been incurred, the trial had to proceed. In a few 
months the apparatus was useless. Then the Gas Com.pany 
was again approached ; but they said that the charge of 7s. 6d. 
was only an experiment which they were afraid would not 
answer, and that the Society must pay like other people. 
" Upon this understanding it was agreed to receive the Com- 
pany's gas into the gasometer, an account being kept by both 
parties of the number of feet received each time the gasometer 
is filled. Since that period the Building has been lighted with 
the Company's gas, and a bill has been received from the 
Company charging it at los. per thousand feet." 

The concluding paragraph of this part of the report is of 
special interest : " The Society have the satisfaction of knowing 
that their supply of gas is measured by their gasometer with 
accuracy and safety. The Committee will not say that gas- 
meters are necessarily inaccurate and unsafe ; but they have 
been found inaccurate, registering sometimes the same number 
of feet when the burners have been reduced one half, and, on the 
other hand, registering none when they have been doubled : and 
they have also been found unsafe." 

Upon the i8th July, 1825, the new building was opened to 
the members for the perusal of periodical publications, and for 
the general purposes of the Society a week later. It was 
abundantly evident that the cost of the work would greatly 
exceed all estimates, although it was yet too soon to say what it 
would amount to. Many important alterations in, and additions 
to, the original design had been made as the building progressed, 
and the whole had been finished in a better and more costly 
style than had been originally intended. The Committee were 
empowered to raise £^000 upon mortgage of the premises at 
4 per cent, interest. 




'r. 



FRONT VIEW OK THE SOCIETY S BUILDING 



ii 



92 



THE SOCIETY A T HOME, 



the oil gas experiment would never have been tried, but as the 
expense had been incurred, the trial had to proceed. In a few 
months the apparatus was useless. Then the Gas Company 
was again approached ; but they said that the charge of 7s. 6d. 
was only an experiment which they were afraid would not 
answer, and that the Society must pay like other people. 
" Upon this understanding it was agreed to receive the Com- 
pany's gas into the gasometer, an account being kept by both 
parties of the number of feet received each time the gasometer 
is filled. Since that period the Building has been lighted with 
the Company's gas, and a bill has been received from the 
Company charging it at los. per thousand feet." 

The concluding paragraph of this part of the report is of 
special interest : " The Society have the satisfaction of knowing 
that their supply of gas is measured by their gasometer with 
accuracy and safety. The Committee will not say that gas- 
meters are necessarily inaccurate and unsafe ; but they have 
been found inaccurate, registering sometimes the same number 
of feet when the burners have been reduced one half, and, on the 
other hand, registering none when they have been doubled : and 
they have also been found unsafe." 

Upon the i8th July, 1825, the new building was opened to 
the members for the perusal of periodical publications, and for 
the general purposes of the Society a week later. It was 
abundantly evident that the cost of the work would greatly 
exceed all estimates, although it was yet too soon to say what it 
would amount to. Many important alterations in, and additions 
to, the original design had been made as the building progressed, 
and the whole had been finished in a better and more costly 
style than had been originally intended. The Committee were 
empowered to raise £^QOO upon mortgage of the premises at 
4 per cent, interest. 




',. 



FRONT VIEW OF THE SOCIETY S DUII.DING 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



93 



t 



8 



But I have not explained what manner of a building had 
been erected, or what was the accommodation which it afforded. 
That it was greatly admired by the people of Newcastle is shown 
by the fact that, twelve years after it was opened, the Corporation 
in their Improvement Act recited as follows:— 

" And whereas the new hall or library of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, situate in Westgate Street, is an ornament 
to the said borough, but the view thereof is much obstructed by 
an ancient dwelling-house belonging to Mr. Robert Leadbitter 
and now in the occupation of Mr. Joseph Anderson ; and it is 
desirable that a part of such ancient dwelling-house should be 
removed, in order to open out the view of the said new hall or 
library : Be it therefore enacted. That it shall be lawful for the 
said Council to take down and remove so much of the said 
dwelling-house, and of the offices belonging thereto, not ex- 
ceeding fifteen feet in depth from Westgate Street, as adjoins 
to the said new hall or library and to Westgate Street aforesaid ; 
and that no building, except a fence wall not exceeding ten feet 
in height, shall hereafter be erected upon the site of such part of 
the said dwelling-house as shall be so taken down, nor upon 
such part of the court-yard of the said Robert Leadbitter as is 
situate between the said street hereby authorized to be made 
from Collingwood Street to the Scotswood Road and the said 
part of the said ancient dwelling-house of the said Robert 
Leadbitter hereby authorized to be taken down, without the 
license and consent of the said mayor, aldermen, and burgesses, 
under their common seal, first obtained for that purpose." 

As it was when first built, so it is now externally, a plain, 
heavy, well-constructed Doric building; but the ground floor 
has been greatly altered. What I may call the large hall and 
the handsome staircase remain as they were. The Towneley 
vases above the first landing, and the casts of the Elgin marbles 



\ 



94 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



ff 



I 



in five compartments at the top of the staircase, were the original 
ornamentation. The Lough statue, the slabs from Nineveh, and 
the important oil-painting by Mr. W. B. Scott, are gifts sub- 
sequently acquired. I shall have more to say about them 
hereafter. Immediately on the left upon entering was the 
committee-room, which is now used as an ante-room to the 
lecture-room ; and next came two apartments then occupied 
by the Antiquarian Society; whilst on the right was a large 
room for the Society's scientific apparatus. A door at the end of 
the passage led into the lecture-room, which would accommodate 
about 300 persons, but it was not a pleasant place. 

The large library upstairs remains as it was originally, with 
the important exceptions of the roof and the method of light- 
ing, which have been greatly improved. For simple nobility of 
appearance it cannot be surpassed. The gallery which sur- 
rounded it has not been altered, nor has the narrow staircase 
which connects it with the main room. From the east end of 
the gallery the Museum was entered. It was too small, only 40 
feet long and 20 feet broad, and for many years it has been 
used as the committee-room, and also as a reading-room. The 
reading-room proper is still, as it was then, on the left as the 
library proper was entered. The principal room was 79 feet in 
length by 40 feet in breadth, and 42 feet high. 

The first meeting which the Society held in its new apart- 
ments was upon 6th September, 1825, vvhen the Rev. William 
Turner delivered an address, which was afterwards printed by 
the request of the members. He gave a short account of its 
history and present state, explaining that "the idea originally 
contemplated was a meeting for literary and philosophical 
discussion ; and agreeably to that idea, regular monthly meetings 
had been held, at which a series of papers had been produced 
highly creditable to their various authors." But " it was soon 



II 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



95 



found that there prevailed a wish to extend the plan of the 
Society by super-adding the establishment of a public library ; 
the consequence had been the gradual formation of the noble 
collection which now adorned the walls of the magnificent room 
under a part of which they were then assembled." He then 
went on to defend the formation of Public Libraries, which had 
been attacked on the ground that " while they induce a medio- 
crity of information apparently favourable to morals, as affording 
the means of occupation to the leisure hours of the manufacturer, 
the artisan, and mechanic, which might otherwise have been spent 
in mere vacancy, or something worse, there is a danger that, by 
the circulation of books of every kind, the public principles may 
be corrupted ; that while they have almost created the character 
called a well-informed man, and exalted in the scale of intelligence 
men of no profession, they have a natural tendency to depress to 
the same level those whose professions are denominated learned ; 
and even to destroy amongst them that pertinacity of meditation, 
correctness of reasoning, and exactness of style, which are best 
formed by the use of a small library, well selected and digested 
by frequent perusal." 

These views were combated at what now seems somewhat 
excessive length, but there is a curiously apologetic tone about 
the defence which makes us feel that, in those days, the attack 
was felt to be really a serious matter. Mr. Turner went on to 
explain the further important extension of the Plan of the 
Society when it was resolved to establish the Lectureship on 
Subjects of Natural and Experimental Philosophy in connection 
with it, and described how this had been carried into execution. 
Twenty-two courses of Lectures had been delivered, "with 
various advantages for assistance to the Lecturer in the experi- 
mental parts, and, of course, with various degrees of satisfaction 
to his audience and himself." 



V 



■v.! 



'tm.fJi'J'' 



96 



THE SOCIETY A T HOME. 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



97 






The formation of a Literary Club amongst the members of 
the Society, in 18 14, was explained, and certain jealousies which 
it had aroused were removed. The beginning of the Anti- 
quarian Society, about the same time, " occupying apartments 
in the same building as ourselves, and proposing to exhibit its 
antiquarian stores to the public inspection in such a way as to 
render them, at the same time, an interesting decoration to the 
open space behind our building," led the speaker up to the new 
and commodious premises in which the Society met for the first 
time. 

And he concluded by explaining in considerable detail the 
extreme liberality of the Society's unique constitution, stating 
that it had been celebrated even by " Mr. Brougham in his late 
pamphlet on Mechanics' Institutes ; " and he described the 
steps which it was intended to take to place it upon a firm legal 
basis. He alluded to "the ample foundation which has been 
laid for a Museum of Natural History, through the intervention 
of Mr. Fox, and the very liberal terms on which he purchased 
for the Society the Wycliffe collection. Tbe only danger is 
lest, in this respect, our apartments may not be sufficiently 
extensive." 

This danger was, indeed, a real one, but one which could not 
be avoided, and the accommodation sufficed for more than half 
a century of honest work. But when we find that, at this very 
first meeting in the new building, Mr. William Hutton announced 
his intention to present a series of 1200 geological specimens, 
Mr. John Adamson to supplement that gift by 300 more, and 
Mr. John Thomhill to add an Herbarium of British plants, we 
begin to appreciate the grounds upon which Mr. Turner's 
apprehension was based. 

We have now got our Society housed in its permanent home, 
and have only to give some account of the alterations and 



additions which have been made in that home during the 
seventy years of occupancy already flown. But in these days 
of shortened hours and simplified duties, — when all that pertains 
to domestic service has been revolutionised in this free country, 
and you must cross the Channel to find the early rising, late 
working, and low wage, once characteristic even of our own 
country, — it is not without interest to peruse the " Outlines of 
Duty of two servants wanted by the Literary and Philosophical 
Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne," which were printed and 
distributed by the Committee in December of this year, 

1825. 

The chief or leading part of the man's duty was to make the 
gas, and to attend to the burning of it ; but he had a multitude 
of other things to attend to. Amongst these was the scrubbing 
of the flags in front of the door : " the whole should be scrubbed 
down once a week, but if advantage were taken of every shower 
of rain, great labour on this point would be avoided." "At 
twelve o'clock he must have himself cleaned " — the instructions 
do not specify by whom—" and attend the Museum, or as he 
may be wanted, from that hour to three." Then he was to 
keep the back-yard and garden clean and orderly ; was to be 
constantly about the building; keep up the fires; blacklead 
the grates, stoves, and hearths, and clean the fenders and fire- 
irons ; clean the mats and scrapers ; keep the outside rails clear 
of nuisances, and the urns on the staircases free of dust ; assist 
the librarian in locking-up ; clean the windows ; keep the water 
cistern filled; the brass hand-rails of gallery and staircase, 
and the oakdoors, handles, and finger-plates, in order and 
bright "Besides what is stated, he must endeavour to make 
himself as useful as he can, and to make it his study to keep 
the building and rooms in proper order, and as clean as possible. 
He must also be ready to give his assistance whenever required. 

7 



t 



98 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



99 






During the Lectures, his attendance or services will often also 
be wanted for them." 

Two days in each week were entirely taken up with gas- 
making. He had to wear "old clothes" in the gas-house, 
fustians up to twelve o'clock, and a suit provided by the Society 
during the rest of the day. What with making gas, cleaning 
the building and himself, changing dresses, and making himself 
generally and ubiquitously useful, his office would be no sinecure. 
The duties prescribed for the woman are worthy of those laid 
down for the man. 

But this is by way of interlude. The Building Committee 
was not able to give a full account of the sum actually expended 
upon the new premises until March 1827, and it then proved to 
have been ;f 13,756 5s. i|d., including the cost of the ground. 
This amount had been raised thus : 

By the annual half-guinea contributed 

by members ;^3.35o o 6 

Donations 1,869 M 6 

Borrowed - 8,200 o o 

-£i3>4i9 15 o 
the balance being discharged out of revenue. 

The large amount of borrowed money proved a source of 
constant anxiety and trouble to the Society, and I shall have to 
speak at some length about the many unsuccessful devices for its 
liquidation, and to show how, through the enlightened liberality 
of one of the most famous members, the incubus was at length 
removed. 

It is not a little amusing to see with what dismay these 
accounts were received, and how busy the prophets of evil at 
once were. One said with some truth that " private societies, as 
well as national governments, have their periods of folly and 



extravagance," and went on to show how the incidental and 
necessary payments would exceed the receipts, without leaving 
anything to purchase new books, or to pay off the enormous 
amount on mortgage : the two guinea subscription would 
have to be again increased, "and consequently the library 
would lose its former usefulness, and become merely a fashion- 
able lounging-place for the opulent classes of society." Another 
complained that the Committee had concealed the true financial 
position, and spoke of " the ruin that threatens the institution." 
He declared that the proposed sinking fund was a complete 
humbug ; showed how and why the expenses must exceed the 
receipts; and explained precisely how, in order to purchase any 
books at all, the Society would have to borrow ;£"200 every year, 
thus plunging deeper and ever deeper into the slough of financial 
embarrassment. 

You cannot reply to a prophet, but you may, as a rule, 
disbelieve him if he prophesies nothing but unadulterated 
evil. Sixty-seven years have flown since the utterance of 
these gloomy vaticinations, and they have not yet been fulfilled. 

For the men who raised our building were not such as lie 
down before difficulties. They fully realised their situation, and 
began at once to grapple with it The despised sinking fund 
itself is one proof of this. The members and friends of the 
Society subscribed ;£^2<X)0 in amounts of not less than ;£^20, and 
;f 1200 further was obtained on loan. These sums were to be 
repaid by setting aside a certain part of the annual income each 
year for that purpose. But this and other ways in which it was 
sought to raise the wind, I shall deal with hereafter. 

Because, as this chapter tells of the Society at home, I must 
note, before going further, that it had already begun to gather 
together its interesting and valuable collection of busts, portraits, 
and other pictures. Its first acquisitions of this kind seem to have 



i 



lOO 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



P i 



»j 



been made in the Session 1823-24. "That venerable ornament 
of his native town, Dr. Charles Ilutton," died on the 27th 
January, 1823. He is a man to be remembered. The son of 
a " deputy," and himself in early Vi^c a hewer at Benton Colliery, 
he worked his way up until he became one of England's leading 
mathematicians. The University of Edinburgh gave him the 
degree of LL.D., the Royal Society made him a Fellow, and 
appointed him Foreign Secretary ; he was for thirty-four years 
Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy at 
Woolwich ; and his mathematical writings won him European 
fame, his paper upon the " Force of Exploded Gunpowder, 
and the Velocity of Balls projected from Artillery," gaining 
him many flattering testimonials, and amongst them the 
gold prize medal of the Royal Society. This, and his re- 
searches into the density of the earth, were the works by which 
he was to be remembered. 

Dr. Charles Hutton was one of the first Honorary Members 
of our Society. At the banquet which followed the laying of 
the foundation-stone of the new building in 1822 he had been 
specially honoured, but the Annual Report presented in March, 
1823 told of his death. He had not forgotten our Society, for 
he bequeathed to it the valuable marble bust of himself by 
Chantrey, which had been presented to him by public sub- 
scription the year before. In September 1823, Mr. Andrew 
Morton presented the Society with his portrait of the learned Dr. 
Hutton, and thus the Newcastle people may to-day have a good 
idea of how one of their most famous townsmen really looked. 

Then followed the gift by the Rev. John Headlam of a por- 
trait of Marmaduke Tunstall, who collected the Museum which 
the Society had purchased ; the further present of a cast from 
the bust of James Watt, given by his son; one from that of 
Matthew Boulton ; and a marble bust of Thomas Bewick, by 




CHARLES HUTTON, LL.D., F.R.S. 






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been made in the Session 1823-24. " That venerable ornament 
of his native town, Dr. Charles Hutton," died on the 27th 
January, 1823. He is a man to be remembered. The son of 
a " deputy," and himself in early life a hewer at Benton Colliery, 
he worked his way up until he became one of England's leading 
mathematicians. The University of Edinburgh gave him the 
degree of LL.D., the Royal Society made him a Fellow, and 
appointed him Foreign Secretary ; he was for thirty-four years 
Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy at 
Woolwich ; and his mathematical writings won him European 
fame, his paper upon the " Force of Exploded Gunpowder, 
and the Velocity of Balls projected from Artillery," gaining 
him many flattering testimonials, and amongst them the 
gold prize medal of the Royal Society. This, and his re- 
searches into the density of the earth, were the works by which 
he was to be remembered. 

Dr. Charles Hutton was one of the first Honorary Members 
of our Society. At the banquet which followed the laying of 
the foundation-stone of the new building in 1822 he had been 
specially honoured, but the Annual Report presented in March, 
1823 told of his death. He had not forgotten our Society, for 
he bequeathed to it the valuable marble bust of himself by 
Chantrey, which had been presented to him by public sub- 
scription the year before. In September 1823, Mr. Andrew 
Morton presented the Society with his portrait of the learned Dr. 
Hutton, and thus the Newcastle people may to-day have a good 
idea of how one of their most famous townsmen really looked. 

Then followed the gift by the Rev. John Headlam of a por- 
trait of Marmaduke Tunstall, who collected the Museum which 
the Society had purchased ; the further present of a cast from 
the bust of James Watt, given by his son; one from that of 
Matthew Boulton ; and a marble bust of Thomas Bewick, by 



1 




CHARLES HUTTON, LL.D., F.R.?. 



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lOI 



Bailey, presented by the subscribers. The next art present did 
not give unqualified satisfaction, but was the occasion of a long 
and rather bitter contest. This came about simply enough. 

John Graham Lough, who was born at Greenhead in 1798, 
was certainly one of the few Northumbrians who have had an 
undoubted touch of genius. The son of a husbandman, he had 
to make his own way in the world, and found it a difficult task. 
He came to Newcastle; got work upon the Society's new 
building ; flitted to London, where, " in an obscure lodging, he 
had long wrestled with that giant with a hundred hands, Ad- 
versity, but had ultimately succeeded in perfecting works of the 
most astonishing character." His sudden leap into notoriety is 
one of the pleasantest of latter-day art romances, and neither 
the fact nor the fiction are without some justification. In 
judging of a man's art we have nothing to do with how it was 
produced. It must stand absolutely and simply upon its own 
merits. We should scarcely now speak of Lough's art as his 
contemporaries spoke of it His works are only great in the 
sense of being big. But in speaking of him as a man we have 
to consider the pit from which he was digged, the opportunities 
he had of ascertaining and appreciating the truth, and the work 
which was going on about him and which coloured his whole 
mental life ; and, so doing, we shall not hesitate to call him a 

great man. 

In 1827 Lough exhibited his colossal statues of "Milo" and 
"Samson" in the Hanover Square Rooms in the metropolis. 
" Milo " is that work which is said, I fear upon slight authority, 
to have introduced him to the public gaze. Henry Brougham 
had advised upon the strange case of a young mason who, 
finding that his garret was too low to admit of a figure upon 
which he was working being constructed of sufficient height, 
removed part of the ceiling. This was so strange a case that 






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THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



the leading Queen's Counsel and greatest orator of the day 
went to inspect the locus in quo. There he found this young 
Northuhibrian, who was all but starving, but who nevertheless 
laboured heroically at his giant figure of him " who of old would 
rend the oak." Wherever Brougham went (and he went every- 
where) the tale was told, and at once Lough became the lion of 
the day. In the opinion of the press of that day, his exhibition 
in the Hanover Square Rooms "proved him to be a man of first- 
rate genius, and a decided ornament to British art." 

In 1828 Lough presented a cast of "Milo" to this Society, 
and it was placed in the Library, amidst the plaudits of the 
Committee and the local press. 

" Then began a battle grim and great." Mr. John Fenwick, 
afterwards one of the Society's secretaries, wrote to the Com- 
mittee submitting that " the figure was too open for a place of 
general resort, and that the credit and respectability of the 
Society would be better preserved by removing the cast to the 
Committee-room, or some other apartment where female delicacy 
might not be exposed to that trial to which it is now subjected." 
The Committee, however, " saw no cause to make any alteration 
in the situation of the cast, the objections to it evidently arising 
out of a misapprehension of the principles upon which the 
practice of statuary is regulated : " a fine unmeaning reply to 
a silly attack. Mr. Fenwick attended the next Committee 
meeting, and, not unnaturally, complained of the reply made 
to him, pointing out that he had made no profession of ac- 
quaintance with "the principles of statuary," but that "he 
supposed that the Committee held that, when they came in 
contact with the principles of morality, the principles of morality 
should be given to the wind." 

It is not easy to follow closely the meaning of this declaration. 
The complaint, the reply, and the rejoinder are alike remarkable 



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103 



for the skilful way in which they avoid relation. But Mr. Fenwick 
took the practical step of giving notice that, at the next general 
meeting, he should move " That the Library is not a fit place for 
the reception of the bust of * Milo.' " 

And then the warfare broke out in the local press, both in 
prose and verse. The verse was worse, perhaps, than the 
statuary. In prose, " that stupendous work of art, the colossal 
figure," was extolled ; members were exhorted to attend the 
meeting, "and both by their sentiments and votes rescue the 
Society from the stigma which would attach to it should such a 
motion be carried." On the other hand, an "Old Member" 
wrote that he was compelled, when he took his daughters or 
female friends to the Library, to avoid the part of the room 
where the statue was, and, if possible, to divert their attention to 
other objects. 

The meeting was held on the 6th January, 1829, and Mr. 
Fenwick submitted the following theses : — 

I. That to place a colossal statue in a library was out of 

good taste. 

II. That the general exhibition of an open statue like Milo 
was a violation of good old English feeling, and had a tendency 
to reduce the national character to that of the French ; and 

III. That such an exhibition was contrary to Christian 
morality, which enjoined modesty and shamefacedness on the 

female sex. 

No one venturing to second the motions, Mr. W. H. Brockett 
did so formally, in order that they might be fully discussed ; and 
then Mr. Christopher Cookson, "the Barrister," led the oppo- 
sition in a vigorous and humorous, but abusive, speech, which Mr. 
Fenwick described as "one of the most profligate and infidel 
speeches ever heard in the Society." If this description were 
accurate, the Society is to be congratulated upon the high 



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THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



average tone of its speeches. One of the severest things Mr. 
Cookson said was that ''whatever indcHcacy there was existed, 
not in the statue, but in the vitiated minds of those who objected to 
it." The discussion was a warm and Hvely one, but Mr. Fenwick 
only got three persons to vote witli him, whilst there was "a 
tremendous majority in favour of Milo remaining where he is." 

Poor old Milo ! how we marvelled at him in the days of 
childhood, and perhaps shuddered a little at him when we grew 
a little older and had learned what the great men of old could 
do in sculpture with more knowledge and less material! But 
none of us ever dreamed that his peaceful existence in the 
Library reflected in any way upon the morality of the Society. 
Perhaps few of us shed even a tear of memory when we heard 
that, in the sad fire by which the Centenary gathering of the 
Society was terminated, the colossal cast had disappeared for 
ever. 

But other presents of an artistic kind were made to the 
Society about this time. Mr. Edward Train, still remembered 
by many of us as the most genial of painters, and whose 
undoubted ability gave promise which was never quite fulfilled, 
presented the Society in 1828 with a portrait of Mr. Robert 
Doubleday, who had died five years before, and who had done 
yeoman service to the Society from the first The Newcastle 
Courant of that day said of this portrait, " It is an excellent 
likeness, and a most beautiful drawing, the more extraordinary 
as being executed with pen and ink. It looks so like a proof 
print of one of the finest species of engravings, that it would 
almost deceive the eye of an experienced artist." Mr. Robert 
Doubleday is chiefly remembered now as the uncle of a greater 
man who, in service to the Society, trod in his footsteps. 

When I mention Thomas Doubleday I name the most dis- 
tinguished literary man our good old town has given birth to. 




THOMAS DOUBLEDAY. 



I04 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



average tone of its speeches. One of the severest things Mr. 
Cookson said was that "whatever indeh'cacy there was existed, 
not in the statue, but in the vitiated minds of those who objected to 
it." The discussion was a warm and Hvely one, but Mr. Fenwick 
only got three persons to vote with him, whilst there was "a 
tremendous majority in favour of Milo remaining where he is." 

Poor old Milo ! how we marvelled at him in the days of 
childhood, and perhaps shuddered a little at him when we grew 
a little older and had learned what the great men of old could 
do in sculpture with more knowledge and less material! But 
none of us ever dreamed that his peaceful existence in the 
Library reflected in any way upon the morality of the Society. 
Perhaps few of us shed even a tear of memory when we heard 
that, in the sad fire by which the Centenary gathering of the 
Society was terminated, the colossal cast had disappeared for 
ever. 

But other presents of an artistic kind were made to the 
Society about this time. Mr. Edward Train, still remembered 
by many of us as the most genial of painters, and whose 
undoubted ability gave promise which was never quite fulfilled, 
presented the Society in 1828 with a portrait of Mr. Robert 
Doubleday, who had died five years before, and who had done 
yeoman service to the Society from the first The Newcastle 
Courant of that day said of this portrait, " It is an excellent 
likeness, and a most beautiful drawing, the more extraordinary 
as being executed with pen and ink. It looks so like a proof 
print of one of the finest species of engravings, that it would 
almost deceive the eye of an experienced artist." Mr. Robert 
Doubleday is chiefly remembered now as the uncle of a greater 
man who, in service to the Society, trod in his footsteps. 

When I mention Thomas Doubleday I name the most dis- 
tinguished literary man our good old town has given birth to. 




THOMAS DOUBLEDAY. 






THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



lOS 



A poet, a novelist, a dramatist, a politician, an economist, his 
pen had a wide range to suit his capacious mind. But he will 
live longest as the writer of the best angling songs which were 
ever conceived. His economic works deserve careful perusal 
and show his profound thought and originality, but they are 
already, for the most part, of the far past His " Coquetdale 
Angling Songs" will live so long as the Coquet flows and fishers 
tread her braes. They are instinct with the true spirit of poetry, 
and are one of the chief glories of our city and of the county 
which adjoins it. 

Thomas Doubleday was for many years an active and im- 
portant member of the Committee of the Society. He was 
eighty -one years old when he died at the close of the year 1870. 

In that same year, 1828, the President, Sir J. E. Swinburne, 
presented the Society with "the highly-finished portrait of 
himself by T. Phillips, Esq., R.A., which is not only highly 
valuable in itself as a capital work of art, but also as, by its 
striking likeness to the esteemed original, it presents him con- 
tipually to the minds of those who have so long been his 
associates, and will convey to their successors an idea of the 
Society's early Patron and constant Friend." 

Sir John Edward Swinburne of Capheaton became the 
President of the Society in 1798, succeeding Mr. John Widdring- 
ton, the first President, who died in November 1797, and con- 
tinuing to hold the office for forty years. He was seventy-six 
years old when he resigned, but he did not die until September 
i860. He had paid much attention to his duties, and was 
peculiarly well fitted to discharge them with dignity and 
ability. He was a fellow of the Royal Society, and President of 
our local Society of Antiquaries from the time of its formation 
until his death. Both the present baronet and the poet Algernon 
Charles Swinburne are among his grand-children. 



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THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



At this time a movement was on foot " to procure for the 
Institution some Work of Art as a lasting Memorial of the 
eminent and gratuitous services of the Rev. William Turner, as 
one of the Secretaries to the Society for a Period of Five and 
Thirty Years, and Lecturer of the Institution since the establish- 
ment of lectures in 1803." It was resolved at a meeting of the 
subscribers in December 1828, that *' E. H. Bailey, Esq., R.A., 
should be the artist employed to execute a Bust of Mr. Turner, 
and Mr. Andrew Morton should be the artist employed to paint 
the Portrait." At the anniversary meeting held on the 2nd March, 
1830, the thanks of the meeting were "given to those ladies and 
gentlemen who have, by their voluntary subscriptions, put the 
Society in possession of the valuable Bust and Portrait of the 
Senior Secretary." 

Although I shall get in advance of my story by so doing, I 
may mention here that Mr. Bailey was himself the donor (in 
1832) of the cast of his bust of Lord Brougham, which we still 
possess. In the same year a bust in marble of James Losh, 
and, in 1836, "the splendid colossal Monument" of the same 
gentleman by Lough, were presented by the subscribers. Mr. 
Losh, who died in 1833, was Vice-president of our Society 
for several years, and Recorder of Newcastle for rather more 
than a year. He was a zealous reformer, and took a lead- 
ing part in the movement for the abolition of slavery in the 
colonies. For thirty-one years he had made and carefully 
recorded meteorological observations, and, in memory of him, 
his sons had these records copied, and presented them to the 
Society, bound in seven folio volumes. 

The "large picture by Mr. Train, representing Highland 
Scenery, with the introduction of Macbeth and the Witches," 
which now adorns the Committee-room, was given in 1833 by 
Mr. W. Hutton and some other friends, and at the same time 



THE SOCIETY A T HOME. 



107 



Mr. Dunbar presented a bust of Earl Grey of the Reform Bill, 
and " a cast taken from the skull of King Robert the Bruce, 
discovered at Dunfermline in the year 18 19." 

" It never rains but it pours." At the same meeting Mr. 
Nicholson, of Edinburgh, sent a portrait of "our former 
esteemed associate, Mr. George Gray," and, three months later, a 
likeness of the Rev. Dr. Morrison, the eminent Chinese mission- 
ary and linguist, was given by Mr. H. P. Parker. Although 
born in Newcastle, Dr. Morrison does not appear to have been 
otherwise connected with the Society. 

George Gray was an eccentric character who was something 
of a traveller, a teacher of drawing, a chemist and botanist, and 
" a portrait, fruit, house, and sign painter." He lived a simple 
and retired life in the Pudding Chare, and was held in high 
esteem by many men of science and art in many parts. He was 
sixty-one years of age when he died in 18 19. 

In July 1833, " Mr. Robson" gave the Society a bust of Laocoon, 
and " Richard Wilson, Esq.," a full-length portrait of the Duke of 
Sussex. In 1836, Earl Grey consented to sit to Mr. Ramsay for 
his likeness, which the artist painted for the express purpose of 
presenting to the Society; and in 1838, Mr. Andrew Morton 
received the thanks of the members "for his valuable and 
interesting present of the portrait of Lord Brougham." 

It is convenient that, at this point, I should complete 
the long list of valuable gifts of a similar kind which the Society 
has received, nearly all of which are still in its possession and 
greatly add to the interest of its rooms. 

In 1844, "Dr. Headlam, in the name of the subscribers, 
presented a portrait of the Rev. Edward Moises, whom he 
characterized as an eminent minister of religion, an accomplished 
teacher of youth ; one whose labours had given a fine classical 
tone and cast to his pupils — who was one of the few surviving 



11 



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THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



originators of the Society, and to whom the town was under the 
greatest obligations for having first suggested a library in con- 
nection with this Institution, and applied himself for a series of 
years in making the Library eminently efficient." 

In 1856, William Kenneth Loftus, another of those Grammar 
School boys of whom Newcastle is so justly proud, presented 
"the five Sculptures of the Nimroud Marbles, found by him 
during his excavations in the East," which now adorn the 
principal staircase of the Society's building. He was a keen 
naturalist, an intrepid traveller, and one of the most successful 
explorers of the realms surrounding Babylon the Great. He 
was the discoverer of the vast palace of Darius at Susa, the 
honours and spoils of-which have been so largely appropriated 
by the French. The remains of the great city of Nineveh were 
the work upon which he was actively engaged when his labours 
were interrupted by the Crimean War. The slabs which he gave 
to us form an important part of these, his most recent, dis- 
coveries. He worked under General Williams of Kars, the 
Assyrian Excavation Society, and the Indian Government, and 
died on his way home from India in 1858, when only thirty- 
seven years old. Of him General Williams said that "a better 
man, a more zealous and faithful public servant, never lived." 
The Society received a photographic portrait of him in 1859, 
from his relative, Mr. James Radford. 

Mr. Robert Stephenson gave the bust of his illustrious father 
in 1857, and in i860 the members subscribed for those of 
Robert Stephenson himself and of Sir W. G. Armstrong, which 
are now in the Library. The photographic likeness of Robert 
Stephenson which hangs in the Reading-room was presented by 
Mr. Joseph Glynn in 1859, and in connection with the George 
Stephenson Centenary in 1881, Mr. Charles Mitchell, jun., made 
the Society a present of his copy of Lucas's portrait of George 




io8 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



originators of the Society, and to whom the town was under the 
greatest obligations for having first suggested a library in con- 
nection with this Institution, and applied himself for a series of 
years in making the Library eminently efficient." 

In 1856, William Kenneth Loftus, another of those Grammar 
School boys of whom Newcastle is so justly proud, presented 
"the five Sculptures of the Nimroud Marbles, found by him 
during his excavations in the East," which now adorn the 
principal staircase of the Society's building. He was a keen 
naturalist, an intrepid traveller, and one of the most successful 
explorers of the realms surrounding Babylon the Great. He 
was the discoverer of the vast palace of Darius at Susa, the 
honours and spoils of*which have been so largely appropriated 
by the French. The remains of the great city of Nineveh were 
the work upon which he was actively engaged when his labours 
were interrupted by the Crimean War. The slabs which he gave 
to us form an important part of these, his most recent, dis- 
coveries. He worked under General Williams of Kars, the 
Assyrian Excavation Society, and the Indian Government, and 
died on his way home from India in 1858, when only thirty- 
seven years old. Of him General Williams said that " a better 
man, a more zealous and faithful public servant, never lived." 
The Society received a photographic portrait of him in 1859, 
from his relative, Mr. James Radford. 

Mr. Robert Stephenson gave the bust of his illustrious father 
in 1857, and in i860 the members subscribed for those of 
Robert Stephenson himself and of Sir W. G. Armstrong, which 
are now in the Library. The photographic likeness of Robert 
Stephenson which hangs in the Reading-room was presented by 
Mr. Joseph Glynn in 1859, and in connection with the George 
Stephenson Centenary in 1881, Mr. Charles Mitchell, jun., made 
the Society a present of his copy of Lucas's portrait of George 



Pf 




THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



109 



¥ 



Stephenson. The portrait of Robert Stephenson himself had 
been presented by a few friends in 1849. 

For many years Mr. William Bell Scott, poet and painter, 
was Master of the Newcastle School of Design. He was a 
distinct force in the town at a time when strong influence in 
literature and art was greatly needed. In 1864, when he left to 
live in London, some of his friends commissioned him to paint 
a picture which was to be hung in one of the public buildings of 
the town. He had already enriched Wallington Hall with a 
deeply interesting series of paintings illustrative of the history 
of Northumberland, and he now did one such painting for 
Newcastle. He was interested in this Society and had taken 
part in its management. It was his desire that the picture 
should be hung in its house, and we thus became possessed 
of the valuable " Building of the Castle." 

The last gift I have to mention is that of " Some Newcastle 
Worthies," presented by Miss Crawhall in 1894, and the work of 
her father, Mr. Joseph Crawhall the elder. It represents the 
great men of the town gathered together on 'Change, and is 
probably of the year 1826. Most of the figures have been 
identified, and some of them are men who have been mentioned 
in these pages. It is a quaint, delightful, and rarely charac- 
teristic bit of the business life of the old town. 

And now let us turn back to the Society at home, noting 
some of the chief incidents in its history which will be dealt 
with in more detail hereafter, but paying more particular 
attention to changes in the structure or in the terms of 
membership. 

The Annual Report presented in 1829 speaks of the death of 
"our late lamented associate, Mr. Thomas Bewick, the eminent 
reviver of the Art of Wood-engraving, or rather the inventor of 
a new art ; by which, and by his singularly felicitous application 



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of it to the illustration of Natural History, he has secured for 
himself a reputation which will never die." 

He became a member of the Society in 1799, and took 
special interest in its collection of birds, many of which indeed 
appear in his British Birds. Those who wish to learn more 
about a Northumbrian of whom his country may be justly 
proud should read his "Autobiography," surely as charming 
and simple a story of a worthy life as can be met with. He 
was seventy-five years old when he died on the 8th November, 
1828. We have no likeness of him, but there is one in the 
Museum of the Natural History Society at the Barras Bridge, 
which well repays a pilgrimage to that noble institution so 
sadly neglected by the people for whose benefit it was built. 
This portrait is by that fine but most enigmatical artist, Good 
of Berwick, and it is a living likeness. 

The history of that Natural History Society I shall have to 
tell in some detail in a subsequent chapter, but I may mention 
here that the Literary and Philosophical Society gave birth to 
it in the month of July 1829. In the same month the parent 
society made a strong endeavour to obtain the full benefit 
for the people of Newcastle of a gift made to them nearly 
ninety years before, but from which they had profited little; 
and this was but one of a series of similar attempts which 
extended over a period of more than fifty years, and which were 
occasioned by the flagrant maladministration of the noble 
benefaction known as " Thomlinson's Library." 

Dr. Robert Thomlinson was for some time Lecturer at 
St. Nicholas' Church. On the 31st January, 1735-36, he wrote 
to the then Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Walter Calverley 
Blackett, to tell him that, wishing that on his death his books 
should be put into a public way of being useful, he had left in 
his will his whole Study of books to the Mayor and Burgesses 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



Ill 



of Newcastle, and he asked the good Mayor to build a Library 
to hold them, which the good Mayor accordingly did. He was 
at that time Alderman Blackett only, and we may well regret 
that his great influence obtained for him the permission to 
erect the building close to the south side of the fine old church, 
and that his small taste led him to be responsible for so hideous 
a building. He became a baronet in 1749, was five times Mayor, 
represented the Borough in Parliament for forty years, and was so 
popular that he was long known as the " King of Newcastle." 

Dr. Thomlinson kept his part of the bargain. He thought 
the hideous excrescence '* a handsome Fabric," and proceeded, 
in 1 741, to put some sixteen hundred volumes into it In the 
same year he made his will, by which he left the remaining 
volumes to the town, as he had promised. He also left £^ a 
year to be spent in purchasing further books, and the Mayor 
endowed the Library with £2^ di year which was to provide its 
keeper, who was to be chosen from amongst the Curates of the 
Churches of St Nicholas, All Saints, St John, and St. Andrew, 
in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, preference being given to those of St 
Nicholas. 

The direction of the Library devolved upon the Mayor of 
Newcastle, the Archdeacon of Northumberland, the Vicar of 
Newcastle, and the Lecturer of St Nicholas for the time being. 
Excellent regulations were made for the borrowing of books, 
giving security for their return uninjured, and the like ; but, like 
all similar regulations, their value depended upon their being 
strictly observed, which they never were. 

Dr. Thomlinson died on March 24th, 1748, but it is prob- 
able that he had himself seen his whole collection of books 
placed in their intended home before his death. For some 
years afterwards the Visitors seem to have really looked after 
matters in a superficial way, examining the books on the shelves 



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with the written catalogue. Their report made in 1789 was 
that the books were in good condition, but that fourteen 
volumes were already missing. In the preceding year, Mr. 
William Charnley, the well-known bookseller, had written to 
Dr. Sharp, the Archdeacon of Northumberland, and had pointed 
out that the Library had been shut up for many years— twenty 
consecutive .years at the least ; that many of the books were 
much injured by damp ; that the Librarian's salary was being 
expended without being earned, and the ;^5 a year left for the 
purchase of books was not being expended for that purpose. 
The diligence of the Visitors seems to have been exhausted 
in twenty years at the most, and the Report of 1789 to have 
been inaccurate, to say the least 

But Dr. Sharp took no notice of Mr. Charnley's letter, and 
he therefore wrote to the Bishop of Durham, who had really 
nothing to do with the matter; he had much better have 
applied to the Mayor of Newcastle, who was directly connected 
with it. The Bishop did nothing, which indeed was all that he 
had to do. There was a rush of correspondence in the public 
press about the Library and its neglected condition, and the 
Bishop was again appealed to in 1 801, but with a like result. 
The matter was then apparently allowed to sleep until 1813, 
when it was proposed that a catalogue should be printed of 
" this valuable Library bequeathed to the Inhabitants of this 
Town so many years ago." The Committee of this Society 
agreed to bear one-half of the expense of printing, upon con- 
dition that the members should be entitled to purchase copies 
at cost price. But the idea was abandoned for the time, and 
the books got into still worse condition. 

William Charnley died in 1803, but his son, Emerson 
Charnley, who succeeded him in the business, became perhaps 
even more eminent in his own line, and was as full of public 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



"3 



spirit as the good father. In 1826, Mr. Emerson Charnley was 
given leave to print and publish a Thomlinson Library catalogue 
at his own risk and expense, and the Librarian was instructed 
to attend every day, between the hours of eleven A.M. and one P.M., 
excepting on Sundays, Festivals, Fast Days, and Saturdays. 

The catalogue was published in 1829, and the Corporation 
ultimately agreed to pay the cost There was, however, still great 
negligence in the management, and there was frequent complaint 
in the weekly newspapers of the difficulties which intending 
readers found in obtaining access. So in that year this Society 
took the matter up in serious earnest Several monthly meetings 
were devoted to the consideration of the wrongs of the public and 
their remedy. The attention of the Trustees was called to the 
original statutes, which required the Library to be open from 
seven to one o'clock every day in summer, and from nine to one 
o'clock every day in winter, and it was shown to them that these 
statutes were habitually disregarded, and that the payment of 
the salary was the only part of the whole performance which was 
regularly and punctually attended to. In order that the Society 
might make sure of attention, they appointed a deputation to 
wait upon the Mayor, and the appeal to. temporal authority 
proved more efficacious than that to the spiritual powers had 
been : the Mayor called the Trustees together, and they con- 
sented to accede to the wishes of the Society. 

I need not pursue this matter further. The promises which 
the Trustees made were broken with but small delay: for fifty 
years this Society endeavoured to get the books transferred to 
its care, upon condition that the public had full and free access 
to them ; they were more and more wantonly neglected ; if an 
attempt to use them or examine them were to be successful, it 
demanded a lavish expenditure of time and patience, and 
the possession of unusual persistency. From time to time the 

8 



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114 THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 

public roused itself, got into a state of indignation and made 
a fuss ; but it was not until the Committee of the Newcastle 
Public Library turned its attention to the matter in 188 1, and 
resolutely stuck to the task, that any real and lasting reform was 
made. The negotiations for the transfer of the books to that 
Library were somewhat intricate and prolonged, but on the 
1st April, 1884, the Charity Commissioners issued a scheme for 
the future governance of the charity which enabled the Trustees 
to accede to the general wish. 

Four thousand three hundred and sixty-five volumes were 
handed over to the Public Library, but nearly all were in a 
shockingly dilapidated condition. Many had been deliberately 
mutilated by borrowers ; some had pages torn out ; from others 
the plates had been cut ; most were without backs or in rotten 
bindings; all had been cruelly neglected by the authorities. 
The collection, described at an early period as " a truly noble 
collection of most valuable books, handsomely bound, and of 
the best editions : an inestimable literary treasure, worthy of a 
prince, bequeathed by the reverend and generous donor to the 
people of Newcastle," has at length found a fitting home. 
At the cost of six hundred and eighty pounds, and with infinite 
care and loving labour, it has been repaired, catalogued, and 
arranged in a room specially prepared and set apart for it ; and 
it is now one of the prominent features of that admirable 
Public Library which is already of inestimable value, and which 
bids fair to become one of the chief glories of this great centre of 
industry as is right and fitting. The constant watchfulness and 
earnest labour of this Society for the welfare of the Thomlinson 
Library has thus borne good fruit, to the great benefit of our 
city and its inhabitants, and the end so long aimed at, and so 
strenuously striven for, has at last been attained. 

Let us return to the more immediate or domestic work 
of our Society. 



CHAPTER VI. 



TBE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



Its Growth and its Changes. 




E have now reached the year 1830 in the history of 
our Society at home — a time when, in spite of evil 
prophecies, it was undoubtedly prospering. The 
Committee had turned its attention to the possibility of com- 
bining its funds with those of the young Societies which had 
branched out from it, but which were still accommodated under 
its roof-tree. The Committee trusted that they would ever 
remain connected with it, on terms of friendly co-operation, and 
that the various collections might thus form separate parts, as 
it were, of one great establishment, and the beneficial arrange- 
ments which had been mutually made and ought perpetually to 
subsist amongst them, might be firmly consolidated. 

The desire was a worthy and natural one, but it was not 
fulfilled, and we can see now that it was well that this was so. 
There is something attractive in the idea of a vast building 
which shall contain under one roof the whole of the intellectual 
efforts of a city, but it is not quite a practical one. It is in its 
very nature too cramping. The many isolated but splendidly 
constructed and admirably arranged museums of Berlin afford 






, i 



i) 



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f I 



ii6 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



much greater facilities for actual work, than the noble, vast, and 
heterogeneous collections of the Louvre or South Kensington. 

Newcastle was rapidly growing at this time, and Mr. Richard 
Grainger had begun those building operations which converted 
the picturesque, old, irregular town into the modern city of grand 
stone streets which are, in their own way, unrivalled by those of 
any other business centre. I do not think that he was concerned 
in the making of the new street which was to run from Colling- 
wood Street westward past the Forth, and which was named 
after the family whose charming town mansion made way in 
our own day for the Mining Institute. The opening of Neville 
Street was of considerable importance to our Society, and con- 
tributed to make it what it has gradually more and more 
become, the centre of the twin boroughs of Newcastle and 
Gateshead, but it was many years before this street assumed 
anything like its present appearance. 

In 1834 the Natural History Society purchased from this 
Society the land upon which they built their museum, the old 
museum, which has quite disappeared having been absorbed 
by the North Eastern Railway Company. The Antiquarian 
Society was accommodated upon the ground-floor of their 
building, and a few years later the Fine Arts Society also found 
a home there. 

And now the Lecture Room proved too small for the number 
of members wishing to attend the discourses of the eminent 
men who were from time to time engaged to deliver courses of 
lectures, and, in July 1836, it was resolved to enlarge it by 
taking in two rooms which had been lent to the Antiquarian 
and Phrenological Societies for their meetings. When they 
reported the completion of this work to the Annual Meeting 
in 1837, the Committee thought that the new lecture-room 
would comfortably accommodate nearly, if not quite, five 



1 1 J 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



117 



hundred persons. This proved to be too liberal an estimate, 
and those of us who remember the old room think of it 
now as inconvenient and uncomfortable. But in all matters of 
the kind the wants of men increase: in all that pertains to 
personal comfort, "Appetite doth grow by that it feeds on." 

With this alteration of the Lecture Room several other 
reforms were introduced, the chief of them being the provision 
of a room " as a place of deposit for ladies* cloaks, etc, and a 
convenient waiting-room for their servants." When our present 
Lecture Room was constructed in 1859-60, this cloak-room was 
absorbed, and the ladies had to leave their wet cloaks where 
they could until the existing room was made for them in 1866. 
It was with difficulty that any place could be found for it, but 
to carry the resolution to make it at all was much more difficult, 
and required a long and severe struggle. In one of the many 
discussions upon the subject, a worthy but contradictious and 
irascible alderman astonished the Committee by roundly 
denouncing the whole project as "the most disgusting and 
immoral proposition which he had ever heard." 

I have endeavoured to ascertain the exact number of 
members of the Society from time to time, but this is not to 
be done, for the Roll and the balance-sheet never coincide, 
many members in past times being allowed to remain on the 
Roll when their subscriptions were greatly in arrear. I think 
that when it had completed its forty-sixth year, in 1839, there 
were more members than at any other date preceding 1856-57, 
when the subscription was reduced to ;f i is. But how many 
were there at this time of greatest prosperity? The Annual 
Report says 751 in all — 690 gentlemen and 61 ladies; the 
Roll which accompanies the Annual Report, but which only 
gives the names of the ordinary subscribers (who were all 
gentlemen), says 699, which makes a total of 760: but when 



H 



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ii8 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



L 



! 



\ > 

I 



we turn to the Treasurer's account, we find that only 700, 
including ladies and gentlemen, paid their subscriptions. 

The fact is that the accounts of the Society have, from time 
to time, given great trouble to the gentlemen who have, with 
much ability and sometimes at great personal sacrifice, acted as 
Treasurer, as well as to the financially-minded members of the 
Committee. But, at the time of which I am writing, many 
improper practices had crept in — practices which are not unknown 
to private persons who are chronically hard up. Thus when a 
Committee wished to appear better than it really was, it simply 
ignored the debts which it had incurred, leaving them to be 
dealt with by its successor. The Treasurer's account showed 
truly what had been received, and the accounts, the payment of 
which law or accident had necessitated, but it gave no hint that 
there was anything owing. This is a simple and convenient way 
of keeping accounts whilst it lasts, and it saves much trouble for 
the time, but as a creditor obstinately remains unpaid whether 
you say so or not, the trouble quietly accumulates for the future 
at a high rate of compound interest 

In this year, 1839, the Committee brought the state of affairs 
which I have described before the Annual Meeting, and laid on 
the table a statement which showed that the outstanding debts 
then amounted to A73» gave the dates of their " contraction " 
(an unlucky word, for the tendency of unpaid debts is to expand, 
not to contract), and an estimate of income and expenditure for 
the year then commencing. The print of the Report contains 
the note, " These points of business have been copied into the 
Committee and the Resolution Books," but it is satisfactory to 
be able to add that in due time they were disentombed, 
although the evil practices were not finally got rid of for many 
a year. 

We may pass on to the Society's jubilee year with no 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



119 



special incident to note, except that, in 1840, it was resolved to 
keep a register at the Library of the daily atmospheric changes. 
The instruments which it was necessary to acquire in order to 
carry this resolution into effect were not to cost more than £2$. 
The register was regularly kept until, in 1886, the North Eastern 
Railway Company absorbed the yard space belonging to the 
Society. But although of considerable interest and some value, 
the great extension of the town, and the erection of lofty build- 
ings closely adjoining that of the Society, had interfered with the 
general utility of the register. The air-currents had been so inter- 
cepted and their true course so changed, that the Society's vane 
had, as an inveterate legal punster remarked, become indeed a 
vain thing. From time to time the Librarian received a subpoena 
duces to produce the record at some trial for damages done to 
crops by smoke or noxious vapours, but when by incontestable 
evidence it was proved that the wind was really S.W. when 
our vane (not unnaturally, considering the district) declared 
that it had been N.E., his services were not in so great 

demand. 

I may notice in passing that on the 24th September, 1842, 
the library of our Society was lent to the Corporations of New- 
castle and Gateshead for an important civic function. The 
Duke of Cambridge was staying at Ravensworth Castle, and on 
that day he " visited Newcastle, where, in the Library of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, addresses were presented to 
him by the Corporations of Newcastle and Gateshead, to which 
he made suitable replies. The library was crowded by gentle- 
men connected with the town and neighbourhood, and the 
gallery was well filled by ladies. His royal highness passed 
through the library into the museum, and was highly delighted 
with the various specimens submitted to his notice." 

The jubilee year was 1843, and in the annual report the Com- 



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THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



mittee briefly reviewed the history and progress of the Society, 
and it was resolved to celebrate the event by a public dinner, 
which was held in the Assembly Rooms at five o'clock on 
the 6th February. In the absence, through ill-health, of the 
President, Mr. C. W. Bigge, Dr. Headlam presided, and Mr. 
John Clayton filled the vice-chair. Although ten of the original 
members still survived, Mr. John Buddie was the only one who 
was able to be present. He was then only seventy years of age 
and was one of the speakers, and gladly was this father of our 
northern coal-trade listened to, few persons dreaming that his 
h'fe was so near its close. He died in October of that very 
year. 

The dinner was rather a big affair, for there were forty-seven 
speeches, and some of them were a little long ; but, at the very 
outset, the apple of discord was introduced by the Chairman 
himself. He twice spoke of the Rev. Edward Moises as the 
founder of the Society, and, whilst in proposing the toast of the 
Society he only referred incidentally to the Rev. William 
Turner, he afterwards gave the health of the Rev. Edward 
Moises as the founder of the Society, and ignored Mr. Turner 
altogether. But this was going too far. The successor to 
Mr. Turner in his religious oflfice, and himself a relative of that 
gentleman, the Rev. J. McAlister, rose, and gently but firmly 
spoke up for the man who had not only founded the Society, 
but who had, for nearly half a century, done far more for its 
prosperity than any other man. He read a short extract from 
a letter which he had himself received from Mr. Turner respect- 
ing the origin of the Society, and in which he said of it that 
"it was in conversation at a friendly society of which I was 
a member, and which met at the house of Mr. Page, a most 
amiable man and a member of the Hanover Square Chapel. I 
was desired to draw up a paper entitled " Plan of a Literary 




II 






DR. HEADLAM. 



120 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



mittee briefly reviewed the history and progress of the Society, 
and it was resolved to celebrate the event by a public dinner, 
which was held in the Assembly Rooms at five o'clock on 
the 6th February. In the absence, through ill-health, of the 
President, Mr. C. W. Bigge, Dr. Headlam presided, and Mr. 
John Clayton filled the vice-chair. Although ten of the original 
members still survived, Mr. John Buddie was the only one who 
was able to be present. He was then only seventy years of age 
and was one of the speakers, and gladly was this father of our 
northern coal-trade listened to, i^^ persons dreaming that his 
h*fe was so near its close. He died in October of that very 
year. 

The dinner was rather a big affair, for there were forty-seven 
speeches, and some of them were a little long ; but, at the very 
outset, the apple of discord was introduced by the Chairman 
himself. He twice spoke of the Rev. Edward Moises as the 
founder of the Society, and, whilst in proposing the toast of the 
Society he only referred incidentally to the Rev. William 
Turner, he afterwards gave the health of the Rev. Edward 
Moises as the founder of the Society, and ignored Mr. Turner 
altogether. But this was going too far. The successor to 
Mr. Turner in his religious office, and himself a relative of that 
gentleman, the Rev. J. McAlister, rose, and gently but firmly 
spoke up for the man who had not only founded the Society, 
but who had, for nearly half a century, done far more for its 
prosperity than any other man. He read a short extract from 
a letter which he had himself received from Mr. Turner respect- 
ing the origin of the Society, and in which he said of it that 
"it was in conversation at a friendly society of which I was 
a member, and which met at the house of Mr. Page, a most 
amiable man and a member of the Hanover Square Chapel. I 
was desired to draw up a paper entitled " Plan of a Literary 




DR. HEAor A^^. 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



121 



Society," which, having been circulated, gave occasion to the 
meeting at the Dispensary which established and drew up 
regulations to which they prefixed my plan by way of intro- 
duction." Mr. McAlister apologised for intervening, "but he 
could not permit the respected Chairman's omission as to the 
true paternity of the Society to pass unnoticed at the earliest 
moment." 

The Chairman, unfortunately and not very wisely, tried to 
defend his untenable position, but Mr. Emerson Charnley, who 
had to propose Mr. Turner's health, traced the beginning of the 
Society to the paper read by that gentleman and entitled 
" Speculations for a Literary Society to be formed in this town." 
Mr. Charnley said that whether he was the founder or not, he 
was one of the founders, and quoted with great effect a speech 
made by the late Mr. James Losh, in which he said : " I do not 
know, nor is it very material, whether Mr. Turner was the father 
of this Society or not ; but he was the founder of its usefulness, 
the origin of its success, the director of its purposes, and its 
highest ornament from beginning to end." Then Mr. William 
Armstrong, who had been a member since 1798, and had known 
the Society since 1794, fully confirmed the accuracy of Mr. 
McAlister's statement, spoke warmly in praise of Mr. Turner's 
" characteristic modesty," and ended by saying " there was no 
monthly meeting at which Mr. Turner had not some informa- 
tion to supply, and sure he was that Mr. Turner's equal they 
never could live to see again." 

It is strange that but half a century after the event, and only 
six years after one of the two gentlemen who had thus, un- 
wittingly and unwillingly, been placed in ungrateful opposition, 
had retired from the secretaryship which he had held for forty- 
four years, and whilst both of the gentlemen were still living, 
such a dispute should have arisen at all. Happily there was 



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122 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



123 



no doubt in the mind of the man to whom the credit had been 
wrongly attributed. The Rev. Edward Moises was appealed to, 
and at once wrote : " Mr. Moises presents his compliments to 
Mr. McAlister, and, in reply to his inquiry concerning the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, begs to assure him that 
Mr. Moises disclaims all pretensions to be considered as the 
founder of that institution, which is solely due to Mr. Turner. 
Towards the close of 1792, Mr. Moises received a circular from 
Mr. Turner inviting him to join the proposed Society, to which 
Mr. Moises expressed his ready consent." Thus it was finally 
established that Mr. Turner was the father of the Society, and 
Mr. Turner had himself explained that the movement for the 
addition of a general library was due to Mr. Moises. 

At the monthly meeting in April 1793, Dr. Glover read a 
paper entitled " Remarks on the History of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne," in which he 
gave a brief sketch of the work which the Society had done 
since its commencement. It is interesting to note his view that 
its development had not fulfilled the intention of its founder, 
Mr. Turner, which, he held, was to found a Society like the 
Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, and the Literary 
and Philosophical Society of Manchester. " Although," he said, 
" our Society has now become little more than a large reading 
club, the branch societies which have sprung from it have main- 
tained the character originally contemplated by Mr. Turner." 

The truth is that the original scheme was, to a certain 
extent, tentative. It was intentionally wide and elastic, and 
thus it allowed the Society to take the shape which the varying 
needs of the district from time to time suggested It was 
better thus than if the attempt rigidly to copy some institution, 
existmg elsewhere and under other conditions, had been per- 
sisted in. 



It is well that we, who have celebrated the centenary of the 
Society, should see what those who were directing its affairs 
when its jubilee was celebrated thought of its past and hoped 
from its future. At the conclusion of his paper Dr. Glover 
summed up the situation thus: — "Enough has been said to 
manifest the numerous benefits which this Institution has con- 
ferred. In its early career it excited a spirit of inquiry, and 
afforded facilities to students otherwise not easily acquired. Its 
members took the lead in efforts to improve the education of 
the poor. The papers and subjects brought before its meetings 
were frequently of the highest interest, and of great literary and 
scientific worth. Inventions and proposals of the most essential 
value to the commercial and mining interests of the district, and 
to the cause of humanity, originated from the exertions of its 
members, and were sanctioned and made known by the 
approval, and diffused by means of the Society. But we can 
scarcely perceive the thousand almost imperceptible modes in 
which the operation of this institution has beneficially affected 
the intellectual, social, and moral state of the district within its 
sphere. The termination of fifty years has witnessed the fulfil- 
ment of almost all the objects contemplated by the author of 
the prospectus ; but the Society is about to enter a new epoch 
of its existence ; and let us hope that the conclusion of the next 
fifty years may witness the attainment of so many objects as 
may render the Centenary as auspicious an event as the late 
Jubilee ; so that the progress of the Society during the inter- 
vening period may be found to be as great in proportion as it 
has been in the time already passed." 

Whether this pious wish has been answered admits of argu- 
ment. The changes of the last fifty years have been indeed 
amazingly great, but some of the principal ones have their roots 
in the earlier years, although those years were profoundly 



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124 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



m 



unconscious of the fact When the Duke of Sussex came to 
lay the foundation-stone of the new building, who thought 
that the brakesman of a local colliery who, in that very year, 
bought a piece of land at the Forth and erected a modest 
manufactory for locomotive engines, was to become more 
famous, and to do more for the world, than all the peers and 
commoners assembled to do honour to royalty put together, and 
with royalty thrown in ? Yet so it was. A subsequent chapter 
will show that George Stephenson was already known to the 
members of this Society. He was engineer to the Stockton 
and Darlington Railway Company, and had persuaded them 
to get an amended Act of Parliament so as to have iron 
instead of wooden lines, and locomotives instead of horses or 
fixed engines. He had surveyed and was constructing their line, 
and was to receive the remuneration of ;^30o a year. 

But railways were slow to reach Newcastle. Upon the 1 8th 
June, 1844, the Newcastle and Darlington line was opened, but 
the northern terminus was at Gateshead not Newcastle, the 
River Tyne barring further progress. Still it was now possible 
to get all the way from Gateshead to London by rail, but it was 
a long business. The writer made what he thinks was the first 
through journey, the train leaving Gateshead at six in the 
inorning and reaching Euston Square half-an-hour after mid- 
night. The weekly papers went into ecstasies over the extreme 
rapidity of the transit. 

The line could not long be allowed to terminate at Gates- 
head, "the dirty lane leading to Newcastle," and a terra 
incognita to the Newcastle people. " I hope that you will come 
to our Gateshead Dispensary ball, Mr. G.," was the request 
made by a Gateshead belle to a well-known Newcastle lawyer, 
about the time of which I am writing. "And pray, madam,' 
where is Gateshead?'' was the uncompromising reply. Mr. 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



125 



R. W. Brandling had conceived the idea of a High Level Bridge 
across the Tyne in 1841 ; George Stephenson was consulted 
upon the matter in 1842; the following year a High Level 
Bridge Company was formed, with George Stephenson and 
George Hudson, the Railway King, on the committee of manage- 
ment, and with Robert Stephenson as consulting engineer; and 
then the Newcastle and Darlington Railway Company took the 
matter up, and in 1845 obtained an Act of Parliament for the 
construction of the bridge. 

George Hudson, then at the height of his fame, was the 
chairman of that company. In 1844, when the line to the South 
was opened, he had been extolled in the Newcastle papers as 
the greatest of benefactors, but the Committee of the Society 
were afraid of his further extensions, and they tried to discover 
what his exact aims were. That was by no means an easy task, 
for deputations failed to see the great man, and he did not 
answer letters. When at length, after much trouble and by 
special influence, a reply was obtained, it was to the effect that 
his operations would be beneficial rather than prejudicial to the 
institution, and that he should be glad to meet the Secretaries 
and discuss the matter with them. I find no record of a 
meeting, but there seems to have been further correspondence, 
for the Committee were informed that, as the Railway Company 
would not touch the Society's property, they had no locus standi 
or right to interfere. This common-sense statement had a 
rather startling effect, for the Committee contented themselves 
with " requesting the members of parliament for the district to 
support the bill, especially those clauses which bore on their 
own particular case." 

In March 1846 the first conversazione was held in the 
Society's rooms, and its success surpassed the most sanguine 
hopes and expectations of its promoters, and well it might, for 



I 

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r 



A^Miuii<n»vrK'i4 



^fi^^Ht 



124 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



\ 



unconscious of the fact When the Duke of Sussex came to 
lay the foundation-stone of the new building, who thought 
that the brakesman of a local colliery who, in that very year, 
bought a piece of land at the Forth and erected a modest 
manufactory for locomotive engines, was to become more 
famous, and to do more for the world, than all the peers and 
commoners assembled to do honour to royalty put together, and 
with royalty thrown in ? Yet so it was. A subsequent chapter 
will show that George Stephenson was already known to the 
members of this Society. He was engineer to the Stockton 
and Darlington Railway Company, and had persuaded them 
to get an amended Act of Parliament so as to have iron 
instead of wooden lines, and locomotives instead of horses or 
fixed engines. He had surveyed and was constructing their line, 
and was to receive the remuneration of ;£'300 a year. 

But railways were slow to reach Newcastle. Upon the 1 8th 
June, 1844, the Newcastle and Darlington line was opened, but 
the northern terminus was at Gateshead not Newcastle, the 
River Tyne barring further progress. Still it was now possible 
to get all the way from Gateshead to London by rail, but it was 
a long business. The writer made what he thinks was the first 
through journey, the train leaving Gateshead at six in the 
niorning and reaching Euston Square half-an-hour after mid- 
night. The weekly papers went into ecstasies over the extreme 
rapidity of the transit. 

The line could not long be allowed to terminate at Gates- 
head, "the dirty lane leading to Newcastle," and a terra 
incognita to the Newcastle people. " I hope that you will come 
to our Gateshead Dispensary ball, Mr. G.," was the request 
made by a Gateshead belle to a well-known Newcastle lawyer, 
about the time of which I am writing. "And pray, madam,' 
where is Gateshead?" was the uncompromising reply. Mr. 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



125 



R. W. Brandling had conceived the idea of a High Level Bridge 
across the Tyne in 1841 ; George Stephenson was consulted 
upon the matter in 1842; the following year a High Level 
Bridge Company was formed, with George Stephenson and 
George Hudson, the Railway King, on the committee of manage- 
ment, and with Robert Stephenson as consulting engineer; and 
then the Newcastle and Darlington Railway Company took the 
matter up, and in 1845 obtained an Act of Parliament for the 
construction of the bridge. 

George Hudson, then at the height of his fame, was the 
chairman of that company. In 1844, when the line to the South 
was opened, he had been extolled in the Newcastle papers as 
the greatest of benefactors, but the Committee of the Society 
were afraid of his further extensions, and they tried to discover 
what his exact aims were. That was by no means an easy task, 
for deputations failed to see the great man, and he did not 
answer letters. When at length, after much trouble and by 
special influence, a reply was obtained, it was to the effect that 
his operations would be beneficial rather than prejudicial to the 
institution, and that he should be glad to meet the Secretaries 
and discuss the matter with them. I find no record of a 
meeting, but there seems to have been further correspondence, 
for the Committee were informed that, as the Railway Company 
would not touch the Society's property, they had no locus standi 
or right to interfere. This common-sense statement had a 
rather startling effect, for the Committee contented themselves 
with " requesting the members of parliament for the district to 
support the bill, especially those clauses which bore on their 
own particular case." 

In March 1846 the first conversazione was held in the 
Society's rooms, and its success surpassed the most sanguine 
hopes and expectations of its promoters, and well it might, for 



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IV • * 



126 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



the men who entertained the company were of the race of 
giants. Mr. Hugh Lee Pattinson, the discoverer of the method 
of extracting silver from lead, held a scientific levee. Mr. H. G. 
Potter convulsed his many customers with laughing gas. Mr. 
W. G. Armstrong (our honoured President) "was galvanizing 
the ladies— and also the gentlemen." Dr. Embleton, Dr. Bruce, 
Mr. W. K. Loftus, Mr. W. B. Scott, Mr. John Hancock, and 
many more, contributed of their best " We must have another 
before long," was the constant cry of the delighted members 
and guests, and another was held in the following October, when 
" Mr. W. G. Armstrong gave an interesting lecture in explana- 
tion of the principles and operation of the electric telegraph, 
the instrument having been kindly contributed for the occasion 
by Mr. Allport, Manager of the York and Newcastle Railway." 
These conversazioni became an annual institution, and such 
they continued to be for many years. Even yet they are 
occasionally held, the Mining Institute throwing open its rooms 
at the same time, and the tale of the last which has been given 
up to the time at which I write will be told in my concluding 
chapter. Many of us still look back to the old Lit. and Phil, 
soirees as amongst the most charming evenings of our lives, but 
we were young in those days. 

All this time the finances of the Society were getting steadily 
worse. In 1849. the Annual Report showed that the amount 
due upon mortgage was £6,20o\ there was a debit balance of 
^389 9s. 9d. upon current account ; whilst for the year then 
ending only 537 subscriptions were paid. After a long and 
warm discussion, it was arranged to limit the amount expended 
in the purchase of books, and thus to materially lessen the 
expenditure, the money saved going to form a redemption 
fund. But the regular diminution in the number of members 
gave the Committee much concern, for the interest must be paid 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



127 



whether there were more or fewer subscriptions. They proposed 
to consolidate the amounts due from them, hoping that they might 
thus get some reduction in the rate of interest. They thought 
of having a kind of vast reunion, which should be attended by 
the most eminent literary men of the time, and at which they 
might open a subscription list for the benefit of the Society. They 
planned a great Bazaar or Fancy Fair, which should be held in 
the Library and the Museum, and this idea commended itself 
to the ladies of the district, who took up the matter actively. 

It is strange now to look back to this great attempt, which 
promised so well but performed so indifferently. The ladies 
determined that the new Fine Arts Society should have two- 
fifths of any profits which might be made. The Duchess of 
Northumberland was to preside at a stall, and the county 
gentry pressed into the matter with considerable ardour and* 
enthusiasm. Immense exertions were made upon all hands to 
ensure a success. The Library was mirrored throughout, " and 
looked like a dream of Fairy-land." In the Museum you might 
partake of refreshments to the appetising strains of a brass 
band. The yard was covered over, and a great horticultural 
exhibition was held in it, to which Mr. Joseph Paxton (who in 
the following year was knighted in record of his designing the 
Crystal Palace) contributed that " wonderful plant, the Victoria 
Regia," then a complete novelty. " Flora and Pomona vied 
with each other in lending grace and beauty to the Fancy 
Fair." 

It was opened on the 2nd October, 1850, and remained open 
for three days. It was universally admitted to have been a 
remarkable success, but it did little towards attaining its object. 
The total receipts were only ;£^868, and when all expenses had 
been paid, this Society's share amounted to ;^420 ! At the end 
of that financial year the mortgage debt still remained at 



A- 



W 









Ill 



128 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



I: 



£6,200, and the floating balance against the Society was 
^981 17s. I id. Then, by the direction of the Annual Meeting, 
and " almost as a last resort," the Committee made an appeal 
to "the Nobility, Gentry, Manufacturers, Merchants, and In- 
fluential Inhabitants of the North of England." They briefly 
sketched the history of the Society, and pointing out how all 
classes had participated in its benefits, urged that all should 
join to relieve it from debt. The slight response which their 
appeal met with grievously disappointed the expectations of the 
Committee. The position of the Society never seemed less 
secure than at that moment. 

"The darkest hour is that which precedes the dawn." 
Relief was close at hand, and from such a source as gave it 
something of a romantic character. The then President of the 
Society, Mr. Robert Stephenson, had when a youth received 
great benefit from the Library, and both he and his father had 
received much help from Mr. Turner, who lent them books and 
instruments, and gave them valuable counsel. In this hour of 
deep need, Mr. Robert Stephenson came forward, and, in token 
of his lasting gratitude, he oflered that if before the next 
Anniversary Meeting, February 1855, the members and other 
friends of the Society would raise sufficient money to discharge 
one half of the debt, and if the annual subscription were reduced 
to one guinea, he would himself clear off the other half of the 
debt 

It is not easy, even for those who took part in the struggle, 
to believe that this generous offer met with fierce and powerful 
opposition. It was accepted at a Special General Meeting held 
on the 7th of March, 1854, and the task of collecting the 
necessary funds to secure the gift was set about immediately 
and earnestly. But those who wished for the freedom of the 
Society had to encounter a strange amount of hostility, which 



jsas 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



129 



showed itself at times in a not too scrupulous manner. The 
opposition was not numerically strong, but in it were included 
a few of the active members of committee. They declared that 
the acceptance of the offer would prove fatal to the best interests 
of the Society. They would not have the subscription reduced, 
for then the Institution would become " popular," and " its solid 
and permanent character" would be jeopardised. Warm 
language was used at the Society's meetings; strong efforts 
were made to re-open the question of the acceptance or 
rejection of Mr. Stephenson's offer; and when the Town 
Council was asked to contribute to the fund and the question 
was debated by that body, the Society was bitterly attacked by 
Town Councillors, who spoke of its operations with that superb 
confidence which absolute ignorance gives. How many men, 
then as now, came well within the fiery denunciation of 
the impetuous Apostle Peter, whose characteristic plain 
language on this matter of "speaking evil of the things they 
know not " may be found by the curious in the twelfth verse 
of the second chapter of his second Epistle. But the ignorant 
were happily in the minority, and two hundred guineas were 
subscribed. Still divided counsels were dangerous to success, 
and the general fund grew slowly, and the required amount 
had not been raised when the allotted time came. Mr. 
Stephenson generously kept his offer open. It was freely 
stated that there were traitors upon the Committee itself, and 
at a general meeting held in November 1855 a further attempt 
was made to upset the whole arrangement, but this was defeated 
by an overwhelming majority. At length, at the Annual 
Meeting in 1856, it was reported that the necessary amount 
had been raised, and, upon the motion of the Senior Secretary, 
Mr. Joseph Watson, to whose strenuous exertions the success 
of the movement and the defeat of the opposition were in a 



I30 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



4 ' 



great measure due, it was then and there resolved that the 
subscription should be reduced to a i^uinea. By the next 
Annual Meeting the number of members had risen from 506 
to 1016, and it continued to increase until, in 1867, it reached 
1452, the highest number which it ever attained until the 
present day. 

Joseph Watson was a member of the Society from 1824 
until 1874, the year of his death, and took an active and 
prominent interest in its affairs almost from the first, being a 
member of the Committee for more than twenty years, and one 
of the Honorary Secretaries from 1852 to i860. He was in early 
life a regular writer for Taifs Edinburgh Magazine, to which 
he contributed (amongst other things) the popular ballad "The 
Lambton Worm." 

The benefactions which the Society was to receive from 
Robert Stephenson did not end with the clearing away of that 
incubus of debt under which it had groaned so long. He 
died in October 1859, and left a bequest of seven thousand 
pounds "for the general purposes of the Institution, but not to 
be applied to building purposes, or in aid of any fund for build- 
ing." Well might the Annual Report for i860 say, " The Com- 
mittee are utterly at a loss to find terms in which they may, with 
any approach to propriety, refer to such princely munificence." 
In 185 1 he had presented to the Society an admirable bust of 
his father, and at this meeting it was resolved to open subscrip- 
tion lists to procure a similar bust of Mr. Robert Stephenson 
himself, and one of the new President, Sir William George 
Armstrong, who had also placed the Society under great and 
special obligation in the manner which I shall proceed to relate. 

When the subscription list was finally closed, the Committee 
found themselves in the novel and happy position of having 
a balance in hand, and, as the greatest need of the Society 




JOSEPH WATSON. 



I30 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME, 



great measure due, it was then and there resolved that the 
subscription should be reduced to a guinea. By the next 
Annual Meeting the number of members had risen from 506 
to 1016, and it continued to increase until, in 1867, it reached 
1452, the highest number which it ever attained until the 
present day. 

Joseph Watson was a member of the Society from 1824 
until 1874, the year of his death, and took an active and 
prominent interest in its affairs almost from the first, being a 
member of the Committee for more than twenty years, and one 
of the Honorary Secretaries from 1852 to i860. He was in early 
life a regular writer for Taifs Edinlnwgh Magazine, to which 
he contributed (amongst other things) the popular ballad " The 
Lambton Worm." 

The benefactions which the Society was to receive from 
Robert Stephenson did not end with the clearing away of that 
incubus of debt under which it had groaned so long. He 
died in October 1859, and left a bequest of seven thousand 
pounds "for the general purposes of the Institution, but not to 
be applied to building purposes, or in aid of any fund for build- 
ing." Well might the Annual Report for i860 say, " The Com- 
mittee are utterly at a loss to find terms in which they may, with 
any approach to propriety, refer to such princely munificence." 
In 1 85 1 he had presented to the Society an admirable bust of 
his father, and at this meeting it was resolved to open subscrip- 
tion lists to procure a similar bust of Mr. Robert Stephenson 
himself, and one of the new President, Sir William George 
Armstrong, who had also placed the Society under great and 
special obligation in the manner which I shall proceed to relate. 

When the subscription list was finally closed, the Committee 
found themselves in the novel and happy position of having 
a balance in hand, and, as the greatest need of the Society 



^ 




JOSEPH WATSON. 



i^i»— g» 



]) 



t * 



[' I 



It 



:\ 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



131 



was the construction of a new Lecture Room, they resolved to 
appropriate £\<iO towards that object. But the many plans 
suggested agreed in requiring a much larger outlay, and the 
burnt bairn dreaded the fire. No one could think of again 
incurring the liability of debt. Again, at the critical moment 
there was a friend in need. The Report for 1859 states that 
"Mr. W. G. Armstrong, one of the Vice-Presidents, has inti- 
mated that it is his intention to place the sum of £\200 at 
the disposal of the Committee for the purpose of providing a 
suitable Lecture Room." The site and plans were to be 
approved by an architect appointed by Mr. Armstrong, and 
the Society entrusted the task to Mr. Dobson. After his plans 
had passed a special meeting of the members, they were 
accepted by Mr. Armstrong, and the work was carried on so 
speedily that, in spite of the illness of the architect and the 
severity of the weather, in i860 the room was ready for use. 
The generous donor had then become Sir William, and President 
of the Society. He wished to have mahogany instead of deal 
seats, and this with the cost of painting, furnishing, etc., raised 
the expense considerably above the estimate. Sir William sent 
the Society a cheque for ;^I450, which more than defrayed every 
charge, including the architect's fee. 

In this part of the country we are decidedly clannish. We 
take much pride in our great and wise people, and in our 
institutions. We speak of them with the familiar abbreviation 
which, in itself, implies affection, but which has certain draw- 
backs. I remember a staunch Newcasseler holding forth to 
a party of Southrons in London, and constantly quoting or 
instancing " Sir William." His audience was evidently puzzled, 
and astonished and somewhat annoyed the speaker by inquiring 
whether he meant " Harcourt " or " Alexander." To him our 
"Sir William " was der Einzige, 



:§ 



t 



132 



THE SOCIETY AT HOME. 



And so with our Society : it has always been " the Lit. and 
Phil."; nothing more. A gentleman coming to lecture to us 
stayed at the Neville, now the County, Hotel, exactly opposite 
the Central Station. Wishing to view the scene of his rhetorical 
efforts beforehand, a cab was called for him, and he told the 
driver to take him to the Literary and Philosophical Society. 
The cabman had never heard of such a place, and when boots 
was applied to, he was equally ignorant. To the lecturer's 
amazement and alarm the landlord himself could throw no light 
upon the matter. Now, although he had never before been 
in the town, the lecturer had many Newcastle friends, and he 
chanced to say to himself, as it were, " Well, this beats every- 
thing : not one of them knows where the Lit. and Phil, is ! " 
Then was there light in the darkness, and a great chorus arose, 
"The Lit. and Phil, sir? Why did you not say so before? 
Why, it's there ! " And there, close to, it was. 

But to return to the Society. With its liabilities discharged, 
its roll of members largely increased, and its Lecture Room 
enlarged, it went on its useful way without any great change 
until the Railway Company did what the Committee, forty years 
before, had seen that it would one day do, and obtained 
parliamentary powers to take the Natural History Society's 
property, and to interfere with our yard and building. One of 
the Secretaries conceived the idea that the Society and the 
Company might come to an amicable arrangement which should 
be mutually beneficial, and proposed that the Company should, 
in exchange for the Society's yard, give an equal quantity of the 
land which it had just purchased on the south of our existing 
building, and should also pay to the Society such a sum of 
money as would enable it to extend its buildings, greatly in- 
creasing the size of the Library proper, and the general accom- 
modation of the Institution. This idea was accepted by the 



THE SOCIETY A T HOME. 



133 



Company, Lord Armstrong taking an active part in the negotia- 
tions, and advising upon the further conditions which were 
necessary to diminish as much as might be the noise which 
would inevitably arise from the shunting of trains and the 
regular work of a great station. The necessary formalities 
were soon gone through, the new building erected, and many 
alterations made in the roof and windows of the old building. 
The Society has by this transaction gained a larger library, a 
handsome smoking-room, lavatory accommodation, and cellarage 
sufficient to house its electric lighting apparatus, and it has now 
its own complete electrical installation. 

The new building was opened in May 1889, and the Society 
then seemed to be fully equipped for a long career of extended 
usefulness. Never did its rooms look more charming, never 
did its perennial youth seem more fully renewed, than on the 
evening of February 7th, 1893, when it was thronged by a 
brilliant crowd of members and friends who had gathered to 
celebrate the centenary of its existence. The next morning it 
was in ruins. This tale of destruction I shall relate in my 
concluding chapter. 



\ 



II ■■ -at «•>> 



•I* 



MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 



I3S 



si 



1 




CHAPTER VII. 

MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 

T has already been fully explained that the principal 
idea which Mr. Turner had in his mind when he 
suggested the formation of the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, was that of establishing a conversation club 
which should, in his own words, "provide an easy method of 
spending the evening agreeably and usefully." He intended 
the members to meet for the purpose of exchanging views 
upon literary or scientific matters, and that those who might 
have special information upon the topic of the evening should 
bring it before their fellow-members by the reading of a paper 
prepared with that object. The meetings at which such papers 
should be read would be held once a month, but there was to 
be no stated cessation in the informal talks which went on in 
the intervals. 

The proposition was a half-baked one. A few friends had 
been in the habit of coming together and talking matters over, 
and they now thought that they would enlarge their borders. 
But such an enlargement means an entire alteration, and 
although the monthly meetings of the Society became of much 
importance, they never seem to have been such as were con- 
templated by Mr. Turner, a blend of essay club and debating 



society. They soon settled down to serious business, and this 
district owes much to the invaluable work which was done at 
them. 

Although there was naturally much formal business to be 
gone through at the early meetings of the young society, at an 
adjournment of the very first, held on the I2th March, 1793, 
one of the resolutions passed was — 

"That any papers which, having been submitted to the 
Committee through the hands of the Secretaries, shall receive the 
sanction of any three members of it, may be read at the general 
meetings of this Society." 

The general meetings of the Society were to be held on the 
second Tuesday in every month, the chair being taken at a 
quarter before seven, " but the Members are requested to meet 
at half-past six, to hear such literary intelligence, etc., as any 
person may have to communicate." At the adjournment of the 
first meeting which I have mentioned, no sooner was the rule 
passed than " two papers, one on the Cultivation of Taste, the 
other on the Study of the Classics, were handed to the President, 
and the meeting (wisely) adjourned." 

But think of the men who had papers with such portentous 
titles already prepared ! How strange and improving a sound 
it all has ! As we turn over the earlier contributions, we expect 
to come upon essays on " Friendship," " Truth," " Was the 
execution of Charles I. justifiable under the circumstances?" and 
the like. But we are pleasantly disappointed. The meetings, 
from the first, were serious and valuable opportunities for ad- 
vancing matters of real importance. The thoughtful and 
studious members of the community took advantage of the 
facilities offered to them. They drew together with the 
direct object of communicating to others and learning from 
others in the true spirit of the wise words, " he that watereth 



. ) 



136 



MONTHL V MEETINGS, 



shall be watered himself." The general or monthly meetings 
were not only times when scientific observations, and the results 
of research and experiments, were brought forward, explained, 
and discussed, but they had also an immediate and important 
influence upon the entire district, and upon the social and intel- 
lectual advancement of Newcastle. 

How and why this was the case, the wide extent of the 
interest excited, the practical character of the work done, and 
the instant appreciation and successful carrying out of Mr. 
Turner's idea, will probably be best seen by my giving some 
account of what actually took place at the monthly meetings 
held during the first year of the Society's existence, following 
that in March to which I have already alluded. 

At the meeting in April, " a letter was read from M. Norberg, 
an eminent Swedish naturalist, to Matthew Anderson, Esq^ on 
the discovery of a species of air, possessed in an extraordinary 
degree of the property of exciting and maintaining combustion." 
This is the entire record. We should have been glad of some- 
thing more. The essay upon " The Cultivation of Taste," by 
the Rev. Dr. Enfield, which I have mentioned before, was also 
read. It is sufficiently elegant and insipid. A dozen of such 
effusions would have killed this or any other Society. 

Mr. Matthew Anderson communicated in May " an account 
of the production of an extraordinary degree of cold by the 
mixture of snow with the caustic vegetable alkali crystallized by 
a peculiar process." A letter was read on the present state of 
the settlement at Port Jackson, which had just been called into 
existence, the first cargo of criminals having been shipped off to 
Botany Bay in the year 1787. What course the discussion 
upon this letter took we do not know, but how little those who 
felicitated themselves upon having found a convenient locality 
for the deportation of law-breakers dreamed of the great colony 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



137 



of New South Wales which they were founding, and its splendid 
capital city upon the sea. 

This meeting closed with an essay on the Study of the 
Classics. 

In June the members enjoyed what is described as "a very 
curious paper entitled * Conjectures on Light, considered as an 
object of Chemistry,'" by the Rev. Dr. Thorburn, of South 
Shields. 

We English folk were hard at work, towards the end of last 
century, possessing ourselves of places where we could dispose of 
the inconvenient part of our population. Sierra Leone offered 
many special advantages for the attainment of this object. In 
1786 the streets of London were thronged by free blacks who 
had inconvenient views of meum and tuum, and the directors of 
the Sierra Leone Company ceded a considerable district of land 
for the purpose of being colonised by these freebooters. A free 
negro settlement was to be formed in that region so deadly to 
the white man. Five years afterwards the directors of the 
Sierra Leone Company applied to the Government for a free 
passage for the Nova Scotian Africans, the negroes who had 
remained loyal to England during the American war, and who 
had emigrated to Nova Scotia, which was an altogether unsuit- 
able locality for them. In March 1792, 1,131 out of the 1,196 
who had sailed from that far northern region landed at Sierra 
Leone, but found scarcely any of the London emigrants remain- 
ing, and in half a century nearly all of the new-comers had 
disappeared. It is not for me to describe the accumulated 
miseries under which they suffered, but we find that, at the 
July meeting in 1794, the attention of this Society was turned 
to the matter, and letters were read upon the present state of 
the settlement at Sierra Leone. These were written to Mr. 
Turner by the Reverend Thomas Clarkson, for thus the first 



138 



MONTHL V MEETINGS. 



Report of the Society styles him, but the noble old Abolitionist 
had but little claim to the title, which he would have heartily 
disliked. 

There was certainly no lack of variety in the subjects intro- 
duced, for there were communications to this same meeting 
respecting a discovery of four ancient pigs of lead, and also on 
some remains of antiquity in Cumberland and Westmoreland. 

In August various specimens of tradesmen's tokens, which, 
from 1648 to 1672, they were permitted to issue as small coin, 
were exhibited ; King James the Second's gun money, eight 
half-crowns of which were not intrinsically worth twopence, and 
the promissory half-pence then in circulation, were also shown ; 
and a paper was read upon private coinages in England. 

Mr. Turner read a paper, in September, upon the lead-mine 
district in the northern counties, with observations on the 
practicability of continuing a section of the strata from sea to 
sea; and in the following month there was a paper on the 
aerated barytes, with an inquiry whether it had yet been found 
in the northern lead-mines. An essay was also read on the 
phenomena of heat extricated in various chemical mixtures, 
with an attempt to apply them to the correction of the existing 
tables of elective attractions. 

The November meeting opened with the inquiry, by Dr. 
Enfield, whether there be any essential distinction between 
poetry and prose. The question is always turning up, and is 
probably unanswerable except in respect of minor details. The 
best reply I know is that which was made to me by a little girl 
to whom I put a similar question, " Please, sir, in poetry you 
may use bad grammar, but in prose you mayn't." 

This barren quest was followed by the reading of a corre- 
spondence with Sir John Sinclair on the objects of the Board of 
Agriculture, which had been established in 1793, and which had 



^- 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



139 



drawn up a series of questions to be answered by practical 
agriculturists in different parts of the country. The Committee 
had taken steps to ensure the circulation of these queries in this 
district, and the meeting approved their action. 

The consideration of Mr. Moises' proposal for a general 
library occupied most of the time of the two following meetings, 
yet opportunity was found, in December, for a memoir on the 
circulation of the air in mines, which was translated from the 
French ; and in January, a tribute to the memory of Robert 
Watson, artist, philosopher, and military and civil engineer, who, 
son of a porter and born in the Flesh Market, died of fever 
in India when but twenty-eight years of age. He had already 
distinguished himself in the defence of Fort Osnaburgh, but he 
died too young for the enduring fame which at one time seemed 
to await him. 

The final meeting of the first year of the Society listened to 
an essay upon "the production of the hydro-gene and carbonic 
acid gases, or the fire and choke damps in coal-mines." This 
was evidently felt to be of importance, for it was ordered to be 
read again and more fully considered at some future meeting. 

Now I have gone through each item of the bill of fare, and 
I submit confidently that it was a right and rare good one for 
the first year of a new talk-society. There is not only much in 
it which is well calculated to awaken interest and to promote 
and encourage inquiry, but also much which directly appeals to 
the actual needs of the district. How quickly and thoroughly 
that hackneyed didacticism, which is the beginning and the end 
of most essay societies, was overgrown and destroyed by actual 
and living thought and observation bearing immediately upon 

real life. 

It would occupy too much space if I were to attempt to give 
any account even of the principal papers which have been 



I40 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



brought before the Society at its Monthly Meetings, but we find 
with much interest how they dealt from the very first with the 
whole of the subjects which may be considered as peculiarly 
belonging to this district. At the time of its birth this Literary 
and Philosophical Society stood alone. There was none other 
anywhere within a day's journey to which inquirers, observers, 
or thinkers, could make their thoughts, observations, or inquiries 
known ; and thus we find among the communications many 
upon improved methods of agriculture ; upon matters of interest 
connected with coal, lead, and iron mining ; upon commercial 
chemistry, fisheries, and navigation; and learned dissertations 
upon the meaning of the inscriptions upon stones dug out of 
the Roman Wall. 

We should expect to find the papers upon coal, coal-mines, 
and coal-mining the most numerous of all, and such was the 
case. We have seen that at two meetings, in the first year of 
the Societ/s existence, the subject of the air and gases in coal- 
mines had been brought forward. In December 1794, the 
indefatigable Mr. Turner proposed that queries respecting the 
natural history of coal should be circulated. He prepared a 
paper containing twenty-two questions, and after they had been 
submitted for the approval of several gentlemen connected with 
the direction of " Coal Works," they were printed and circulated. 
They dealt with the original formation of coal, with its position 
relatively to its accompanying strata, its thickness, dip, dykes 
and troubles, and the like ; inquired into the nature and consti- 
tution of such troubles, and the manner in which they affected 
the adjacent coal; asked about fossils, calcareous stalactites, 
whin, quicksands, water, foul air, etc.; suggested that, where 
permissible, the means for overcoming difficulties, and the 
nature and construction of any special machines, should be 
described; and they concluded with the query, "Are you 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



141 



disposed to favour with your assistance any attempt to form 
a Vocabulary of the Technical terms in use amongst practical 
miners, particularly in the Coal Works?" The letter which 
accompanied the questions explained that the idea of the Com- 
mittee was to obtain materials for illustrating the Natural 
History of Coal, as well as for the construction of a mineralogical 
map of the northern coal district 

So far as this district was concerned only two gentlemen 
replied to the queries, and they gave the desired information 
respecting the Pontop Pike Colliery and the Montague Mine 
Colliery, both in the county of Durham. But Mr. Matthew 
Boulton, partner, at the Soho Works, Birmingham, of the great 
discoverer James Watt, had a special interest in the matter, for the 
new steam engine which they were turning out was beginning 
to be of great service in pumping, sinking, and working mines 
generally : it was in fact to revolutionise coal-mining, as it 
revolutionised every other manufacture dependent upon the 
use of coal. We are therefore not surprised to find that Mr. 
Matthew Boulton sent answers to some of the questions, and we 
may guess that they were those which specially related to 
machinery. The only other person at a distance who took the 
trouble to reply was Mr. Gervase Bourne, of Eastwood, in 
Nottinghamshire, and he accompanied his communication with 
copious lists of borings in various parts of England, and a 
valuable collection of specimens illustrative of the stratification 
of the coal district in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 

In remarking upon the slight local response to their invita- 
tion, the Committee wisely observe that " The evils which arise 
from the want of a due application of the principles of science 
to a well-digested collection of the facts which at present 
remain, detached and scattered, in the possession of a few 
individuals, are too frequently and fatally evinced by the dread- 



142 



MONTHL V MEETINGS. 



ful accidents which happen from the generation of damps, from 
ignorance of the best methods of correcting or expelh'ng them, 
from the inattention of our predecessors to the regular delinea- 
tion of the fields of coal they wrought, and the consequent 
wastes they have left, and from various other causes." 

This great question of coal-mining having once been taken 
up by the Society, it continued to make its appearance at 
brief intervals. There was a strong feeling that there should 
be more organised effort, and that the true interests of 
the trade would be best consulted by the closer communica- 
tion and association of those interested in it In September 
1796, Mr. William Thomas, who was himself engaged in con- 
nection with the trade, was induced, in consequence of an 
accident occasioned by the pricking of an ancient waste filled 
with water, at Slatyford in Northumberiand, by which six persons 
lost their lives, to bring forward the question of association. 
This he did in an important and valuable paper entitled " Hints 
for the formation of a plan to be proposed to the Coal Owners 
for establishing an office in Newcastle for recording various 
important information respecting the Coal Works and Wastes 
in this neighbourhood." It aroused much interest and attention, 
and the meeting resolved, *' That this Society doth very highly 
approve the benevolent and liberal spirit which dictated the 
above plan; and that an open Committee be held at this place, 
to which those members who are concerned in the Coal Trade 
be particulariy invited, on Saturday, the 24th inst, at eleven 
o'clock, for the purpose of further considering this plan, as well 
as the propriety of submitting it to the Coal Owners for their 
adoption." 

The meeting was duly held ; several coal-owners attended it; 
and Mr. Thomas was requested to revise and re-model the plan 
before it was brought under the notice of the Coal Trade 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



143 



generally. But other things pushed in and claimed prior atten- 
tion. The whole matter stood over until June 181 5, when— in 
consequence of the falling in of several old and forgotten shafts 
at Heaton Main Colliery, which had become filled with water, 
seventy-five persons and many horses lost their lives — the paper 
was again brought before the Society, and was ordered to be 
printed. But the " benevolent and liberal proposal " was coldly 
received, and the proposer was to pass away, and thirty-seven 
years to go over, before, in the formation of the Mining Institute 
in 1852, his dream was realised. 

This paper seems to me to be of sufficient interest to warrant 
my printing it in extenso in an Appendix to this book. 

Mr. Thomas was a valued member of the Society, and took 
an active interest in it from the first. He was one of those men 
who are filled with ideas. He was largely instrumental in 
drawing up the questions I have mentioned, and in 1805 he 
brought before the Society " Observations on the Propriety of 
introducing Roads on the principle of Coal Waggonways for the 
general Conveyance of Goods ; with a particular reference to 
shewing the Practicability of a Road on this principle from 
Newcastle to Hexham." Unfortunately no notice of this paper 
appeared in the local press, and the author's engagements were 
too numerous to permit him to devote the time required for 
carrying the idea practically into effect In their report pre- 
sented in 1825 the Committee lament his death, and, in justice 
to his memory, record that " the projects of this kind which are 
now so numerous owed to him the first idea of them." 

All new inventions connected with the coal-trade in its 
many branches came for several years before the Monthly Meet- 
ings,' and were often illustrated by drawings, the production of 
specimens, or the exhibition of apparatus. Improved methods of 
drilling and preparing for blasting, the treatment of water in 



I 



144 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



14s 



mines, fresh methods of ventilation, novel forms of gin, and 
the like, were in turn discussed. And, before the August 
meeting in 1812, was laid a drawing of a lamp which Dr. 
Clanny of Sunderland proposed to make, with the object of 
preventing the fatal effects of explosions in coal-mines. I may 
just mention, en passant, that it is curious and interesting to 
note that Mr. Turner gave to the October meeting in the same 
year "an account of the moveable Steam Engine lately intro- 
duced in the colliery at Middleton, near Leeds." This was the 
Blenkinsop engine, which was soon after introduced at the 
Kenton and Coxlodge collieries, where George Stephenson saw 
it at work drawing seventy tons of coal in sixteen chaldron 
waggons at the rate of about three miles an hour, and quietly 
remarked that " he thought he could make a better engine than 
that, to go upon legs." 

At this time men's minds were peculiarly turned to the 
subject of explosions of fire-damp in pits. Such lamentable 
occurrences were sadly common and destructive, the Felling pit 
explosion in that very year, 18 12, alone causing the death of 
ninety-two men and boys, and a second explosion at the same 
place in the following year carrying off twenty-two more victims. 
The only artificial illuminant was the tallow candle, and it was 
actually in use for testing the presence of fire-damp. Amongst 
many abortive schemes to procure safety, the lamp which 
Dr. Clanny invented, and completed in 1813, stands out as 
the solitary success. It became a great favourite with the 
pitmen, and though too unwieldy to become of universal use, 
the inventor improved it much as years went by, and it was 
certainly the first really in the field. In 1816 he received the 
silver and gold medals of the Society of Arts for a steam safety- 
lamp, which was an attempt to construct a safety-lamp on a 
different principle from that on which his first lamp or the 



4 



Davy lamp was constructed. He presented his original lamp 
to this Society in 1822. 

The coal-owners of the north, headed by the Marquis of 
Londonderry, presented Dr. Clanny, in 1848, with a piece of 
plate "as an acknowledgment of his eminent services in the 
cause of humanity and science." But they had not been fully 
satisfied with the Clanny lamp when it was submitted to them 
in 1 81 3, for the Committee who examined it, and who were 
expressly associated together for the purpose of investigating 
the causes of explosions and the best method of preventing 
them, afterwards specially invited Sir Humphrey Davy down 
to advise and assist them in their labours. Upon the 24th 
August, 181 5, he visited certain of the collieries near Newcastle, 
and upon the 9th November of that year he read to the Royal 
Society a paper "On the Fire-Damp of Coal Mines, and on 
Methods of Lighting the Mine so as to prevent its Explosion." 
Dr. Clanny, not unnaturally, believed that the "Davy" was 
but a pirated copy of the "Clanny," and there is now little 
question that, in many respects, the " Clanny " was the better 
of the two. 

Our Society was to have an honourable share in this impor- 
tant life-saving contest. George Stephenson was at this time 
engineer at Killingworth Colliery, and was busily employed in 
improving his locomotive engine, which had made its first essay 
in running in the preceding year, 18 14. But he had also for 
several years been considering the best way of fighting against 
fire-damp, and, as the busy man has the most time, he got his 
friend Nicholas Wood to draw out a lamp, which he (Stephenson) 
had thought out as being well adapted to resist explosions, 
and it was also, with the same friend's assistance, actually 
constructed. Then, on the 21st October, the very night upon 

which it was received from the makers, George Stephenson, 

10 



t 



146 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



Nicholas Wood, and Moodie, a hewer, went down the Kilh'ng- 
worth pit, and made their way into one of the most dangerous 
places. They boarded up part of the gallery into which the 
death-bearing gas was escaping with a loud hissing noise. 
There they waited until Moodie said that enough had collected 
to make an explosion certain if a naked candle were introduced. 
And then, his chosen friends warning him of the probable 
consequences, and taking refuge in a place of safety, George 
Stephenson advanced alone with his lighted lamp and held it 
up, fully exposed to the force of the deadly blower. Was it 
the act of a madman or a hero? As the world judges, that 
question was to be decided by success or failure. But Georf^e 
Stephenson's faith was justified. If he were wrong, he well 
knew the penalty and was ready to pay it ; if right, he was the 
saviour of his fellows. And he was right. The flame darted 
up as the dread agent reached it, then flickered, then died out ; 
and the safety-lamp was an accomplished fact. 

But George Stephenson made many improvements upon 
his original invention. A second lamp was tried on the 4th 
November, and a third on the 30th of the same month, both 
being experimented with before either George Stephenson or his 
friends had heard that Sir Humphrey Davy was at work in the 
same direction. In this year (1814) Nicholas Wood became a 
member of the Literary and Philosophical Society. In some 
way, possibly through him, Mr. William Turner had become 
interested in George Stephenson, and thus it came to pass 
that some of his experiments, at all events, were made with 
apparatus belonging to the Society, and advice and aid were 
freely given him by our excellent Secretary. Mr. Stephenson 
never forgot this, and in after-life he said, "Mr. Turner was 
always ready to assist me with books, with instruments, and 
with counsel, gratuitously and cheerfully. He gave me the most 




GEORGE STEPHENSON. 



146 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



Nicholas Wood, and Moodie, a hewer, went down the KiUing- 
worth pit, and made their way into one of the most dangerous 
places. They boarded up part of the gallery into which the 
death-bearing gas was escaping with a loud hissing noise. 
There they waited until Moodie said that enough had collected 
to make an explosion certain if a naked candle were introduced. 
And then, his chosen friends warning him of the probable 
consequences, and taking refuge in a place of safety, George 
Stephenson advanced alone with his lighted lamp and held it 
up, fully exposed to the force of the deadly blower. Was it 
the act of a madman or a hero? As the world judges, that 
question was to be decided by success or failure. But George 
Stephenson's faith was justified. If he were wrong, he well 
knew the penalty and was ready to pay it ; if right, he was the 
saviour of his fellows. And he was right. The flame darted 
up as the dread agent reached it, then flickered, then died out ; 
and the safety-lamp was an accomplished fact. 

But George Stephenson made many improvements upon 
his original invention. A second lamp was tried on the 4th 
November, and a third on the 30th of the same month, both 
being experimented with before either George Stephenson or his 
friends had heard that Sir Humphrey Davy was at work in the 
same direction. In this year (1814) Nicholas Wood became a 
member of the Literary and Philosophical Society. In some 
way, possibly through him, Mr. William Turner had become 
interested in George Stephenson, and thus it came to pass 
that some of his experiments, at all events, were made with 
apparatus belonging to the Society, and advice and aid were 
freely given him by our excellent Secretary. Mr. Stephenson 
never forgot this, and in after-life he said, "Mr. Turner was 
always ready to assist me with books, with instruments, and 
with counsel, gratuitously and cheerfully. He gave me the most 







GEORGE STEPHENSON. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



147 



i* 



valuable assistance and instruction, and to my dying day I can 
never forget the obligations which I owe to my venerable 

friend." 

We are not then surprised to learn that, at the Monthly 
Meeting held on December 5th, 181 5, "a paper was read, 
transmitted by Dr. John Murray of Edinburgh, on an Improved 
Lamp for lighting Coal Mines, with a drawing. The Lamps 
also of Dr. Clanny, Mr. Brandling, and Messrs. Stephenson 
and Wood, were exhibited, and experiments performed with 
carburetted hydrogen gas, to prove the safety of the latter." 
But Mr. Samuel Smiles, in his Lives of the Engineers 
(vol. iii., p. 119, Ed. 1862), has given so graphic an account 
of this very meeting that I may be pardoned for repro- 
ducing it. 

"Mr. Stephenson was at that time so diffident in manner 
and unpractised in speech, that he took with him his friend, 
Mr. Nicholas Wood, to act as his interpreter and expositor on 
the occasion. From eighty to a hundred of the most intelligent 
members of the Society were present at the meeting, when 
Mr. Wood stood forward to expound the principles on which 
the lamp had been formed, and to describe the details of its 
construction. Several questions were put, to which Mr. Wood 
proceeded to give replies to the best of his knowledge. But 
Stephenson, who up to that time had stood behind Wood, 
screened from notice, observing that the explanations given 
were not quite correct, could no longer control his reserve, and, 
standing forward, he proceeded in his strong Northumbrian 
dialect to describe the lamp down to its minutest details. He 
then produced several bladders full of carburetted hydrogen, 
which he had collected from the blowers in the Killingworth 
mine, and proved the safety of his lamp by numerous experi- 
ments with the gas, repeated in various ways ; his earnest and 



148 



MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 



impressive manner exciting in the minds of his auditors the 
liveliest interest both in the inventor and his invention." 

There soon arose a long and bitter controversy as to with 
whom the honour of having invented the safety-lamp should 
rest, Sir Humphrey Davy or George Stephenson, the world- 
renowned scientist or the Northumbrian pitman. Those who 
are curious in the matter can find volumes of letters and 
pamphlets, upon both sides, carefully preserved amongst the 
archives of the Society. There is much bitterness, wrath, and 
evil-speaking ; some indignation on the part of some wealthy 
and educated persons at the presumption of an ignorant rustic ; 
much written with reference to each of the great men 
which the writers probably lived to be heartily ashamed of. 
Perhaps our Society did actual justice when, in 18 18, it elected 
both inventors as honorary members, but placed George 
Stephenson the first 

Long years after this found Dr. Clanny still at work upon 
the safety-lamp. In 1844, Dr. Glover described an improvement 
which his friend had made on the ordinary form of the Davy 
lamp, and, the Committee say, "as every Lamp invented by 
parties in this neighbourhood has at one time or other been 
brought before the Society, it may not be out of place to state 
the alteration suggested by Dr. Clanny." He proposed to use 
the gauze for the admission of air only, and to have glass for the 
transmission of light. The lower part of the lamp was of the 
usual construction, the upper part being a cylinder of wire 
gauze sufficiently fine to prevent the passage of flame. Beneath 
this was a cylinder of glass, within which the flame burned, and 
through which the light was transmitted. 

There was much discussion upon this project, and many 
were the objections made to it. Mr. H. Smith, of the High 
Bridge, Newcastle, produced a combination which he had made 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



149 



of the Stephenson lamp and the Davy lamp. " Stephenson's 
Lamp as now made consists of a cylinder of glass fitted to a 
brass bottom of the same constructioji as the ordinary Davy 
Lamp ; outside the glass cylinder is one of wire gauze similar 
to that of the Davy Lamp ; and the air is admitted by means of 
small holes in the brass bottom of the Lamp. In Stephenson's 
Lamp, from the small quantity of air admitted, the light is 
too easily extinguished by a current, or fall, or other similar 
casualty. The principal improvement in Mr. Smith's Lamp 
is that the holes for the admission of air, after many experi- 
ments, have been so apportioned that the flame of the Lamp 
would not go out until the air had become so foul that a man 
could not continue in it and live. Another advantage of this 
Lamp is that, if by a fall or otherwise the glass should be broken, 
it would still be a Davy Lamp." Even Dr. Glover dreaded the 
liability of the Clanny lamp to accident, and proposed to add 
a cylinder of mica within the glass. But, after all, " the proof 
of the pudding is the eating," and Dr. Clanny received a letter 
from Broadsfield Colliery, Staffordshire, which stated that his 
lamp had been found better in that colliery than any other, that 
the workmen had never refused to work with it on account of 
any deficiency of light, and that it had proved safe in every 
instance." 

There is scarcely a report of the Society's operations which 
does not show how much care and thought were bestowed at 
its meetings upon coal and coal-mining. There was not one of 
the great men who made that industry what it is to-day who did 
not appear before it as the reader of a paper or the candid critic 
of his friend the reader. Of Mr. Nicholas Wood, the first presi- 
dent of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers, 
chairman of the Coal Trade Association of Great Britain, 
and Fellow of the Royal Society, I have already spoken, 



ISO 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 






but I might have mentioned Mr. John Buddie, Mr. Barnes, 
Mr. Matthias Dunn, and many another well -remembered 
name. In the annual report presented in 1816 the Committee 
truly say, " Discussions have originated, or have been promoted 
in this place, which have materially contributed to arouse the 
attention of the scientific world, and to lead to results which 
promise the most extensive and durable benefits to the com- 
munity ; " they further speak of the " aid given by the co- 
operation and experience of the principal viewers, and of others 
intimately conversant in all the details of mining concerns;" and 
they add, "it is most satisfactory to see that on this highly 
interesting subject, public curiosity has been powerfully and 
universally awakened." 

When the Natural History Society began its operations in 
1830, a special effort was made "to obtain the support of the 
mining proprietors of the district." It was proposed to make 
an extensive public collection of specimens illustrative of the 
sciences of Mineralogy and Geology. It was also suggested 
that the new Society should be made " the place of deposit for 
information connected with the collieries, by the formation of 
general plans, which shall at once show the extent and position 
of the old workings in each seam." 

From this time I find fewer papers upon coal and coal- 
mining read at the monthly meetings of this Society, but they 
do occur from time to time, the last apparently being in 
September 1848, and a communication from Birmingham upon 
a new form of safety-lamp. I have already mentioned that the 
North of England Institute of Mining Engineers was formed in 
1852. 

Our Society was fortunate in having amongst its most active 
members some of the most famous men connected with lead- 
mining in the North of England, and they brought before the 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



151 



monthly meetings the results of their observation and con- 
sideration in many directions. I may specially mention Mr. 
Hugh Lee Pattinson, the inventor of the well-known process for 
extracting silver from lead, by which, for a long succession of 
years, not less than 2CX),000 ounces of silver, which previously 
had been thrown away, were annually saved. He was a fellow 
of the Royal Society, and took a great interest in this Society, 
of which he was one of our vice-presidents when his death 
occurred in 1858. I must also mention Mr. Thomas Sopwith, 
eminent as a civil engineer and a geologist, standing in the 
very first place as manager of lead-mines, a successful road 
and railway engineer, fellow of the Royal and many other 
learned societies, the inventor of a multitude of useful drawing 
instruments, the author of a host of books and essays, and 
withal a bright, genial, and true-hearted Northumbrian bred 
and born. Both of these gentlemen will reappear frequently in 
my narrative. 

I need not go into much detail upon the other subjects 
which, in the early days, were regularly brought forward, and as 
a matter of course, at the monthly meetings, but which now 
find a more certain audience in some society which devotes its 
whole attention to study and observation in their special 
directions. Next to mining, the most prominent feature for 
the first quarter of a century was the number and importance 
of the papers upon agricultural subjects. " The use of lime in 
Agriculture," by the Rev. James Thorburn, M.D., of South 
Shields ; correspondence with the Board of Agriculture, which 
was instituted in the same year as this Society, and discussion 
and circulation of the queries which it printed with the object 
of correctly ascertaining the existing agricultural conditions ; 
" The size of Farms ; " " Improved methods of cultivating 
Peaches and Nectarines;" "The importance of elastic gases 



i 



152 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



IS3 



in the process of vegetation, with an application of these prin^ 
ciples to the management of Fold-Yard Manure," by Dr. 
Fen wick ; " Reflections on Calcareous Manures," by the same 
gentleman ;* "The best method of taking up from, and laying 
down, land to Grass," by Mr. Joseph Atkinson of Swarland, 
who received the silver medal of the Board of Agriculture for 
this paper ; these were amongst the earliest matters brought 
forward. Some of these papers, as well as some of those 
which appeared at later stages, were subsequently produced 
in pamphlets or magazines, and they aroused no little con- 
troversy. At times the local weekly press teemed with corre- 
spondence upon controversial points contained in them, and 
even the great London papers deigned to notice their argu- 
ments pro and con. The Society thus fulfilled the most 
important of the objects of a Farmers* Club. 

Again, the antiquities of the district came in for a large 
share of attention. I have mentioned that in June 1794 a 
paper was read by Mr. J. R. Wilson on two stones, with inscrip- 
tions, which had been lately dug out of the Roman Wall near 
Walbottle, and which were presented to the Society by Mr. 
Charles Nixon. Where are those inscribed stones now? 
They are only the first of quite a considerable number of 
similar objects of vast antiquarian interest presented from 
time to time to the Society, but not one of which is now in 
its possession ; and yet such stones have neither legs nor 
wings. It is perhaps not too much to say that there was 
scarcely a discovery of Roman remains during the first twenty 
years of the Society's existence which was not communicated 
to the members at a monthly meeting. 

* These essays were afterwards reprinted by Mr. Young in his Annals 
of Agriculture, and also, but without acknowledgment, by Dr. Hunter in his 
Geological Essays, 



I have said enough to show that these meetings were seasons 
of much interest and instruction. They were, in fact, the 
precursors of all the learned Societies in which our city is now 
so rich. Their width of range and great variety of subject, and 
the high local value which we may properly attach to them, 
will be best seen by some further account of certain of the 
matters with which they dealt. 

Let us take a few examples. Before 1801 there was no 
official census of the population of the United Kingdom, but in 
1795 there was a proposal made to a monthly meeting that an 
attempt should be made to enumerate the inhabitants of New- 
castle and Gateshead. A Committee was appointed to draw up 
a report upon the best method of procedure. There was a 
strangely strong feeling, it would be scarcely too much to say a 
strong religious feeling, against anything of the kind No actual 
steps were taken with the view of really carrying the project 
into effect, but the Committee reported in due course on January 
1 2th, 1796. They suggested that the town should be divided 
into districts, which should be assigned to such members of the 
Society, and other respectable inhabitants, as might volunteer 
for the purpose. Some days before the inquiry was actually to 
commence, a printed address was to be delivered to every family 
in the town stating the objects with which the inquiry was 
made, and setting out the questions to which the heads of 
families were invited to reply. In this manner the Committee 
conceived that the enumeration might easily be completed. 
But " it is to be lamented that a sufficient number of persons 
did not offer their assistance to encourage the execution of the 
plans ; which might, in that case, have furnished a model for 
a more complete National Enumeration than afterwards took 
place under the Authority of Parliament." 

I note that in April 1801 Mr. Turner read "some observa- 



154 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



155 



I* 



tions on the lately completed enumeration of the Towns of 
Newcastle and Gateshead, particularly on the deficiency in the 
total result, and the great disproportion between the sexes; 
as well as on the omission, in the plan prescribed by the Act, 
of many enquiries which would have been highly useful to the 
philosopher and political arithmetician." 

Let us turn to another question which was brought before 
the monthly meetings, and with which some attempt was made 
to deal practically : I allude to the state of the poor amongst us. 
It is difficult for us really to appreciate the terrible immediate 
effect of the marvellous inventions of the last quarter of last cen- 
tury upon the working people in our large towns. This effect 
showed itself with the greatest clearness in the concluding years 
of the eighteenth and the opening years of the nineteenth 
centuries. Those inventions had wrought a mighty change, 
which, like most changes, had its evil as well as its good side. 
Numbers of men found themselves thrown out of employment 
Wages fell, rents increased. For the first twenty years of this 
century the price of wheat was, on the average, 98s. 6d. per 
quarter. Population grew with startling rapidity. Diseases, 
which are now scarce and greatly reduced in danger and 
severity, were rampant The law was bloody in the extreme. 
Flogging, the stocks, the pillory, hanging, gibbeting, were still 
frequent punishments, the penalty of death being exacted for 
innumerable trivial offences. Society made men brutes, and 
punished them because they were what it had made them. 
The law was against the poor: the State and society were 
against the poor : then, as always, " the destruction of the poor 
(was) their poverty." 

In 1797 the state of the poor, especially in Newcastle, was 
brought before the Society, and assuredly not before time. The 
Monthly Magazine stated that it was shown on this occasion 



that the sum raised for the support of the poor of that town 
from September 1796 to September 1797 amounted to ;tio,ooo. 
" Notwithstanding the expenditure of this large sum, the streets 
of Newcastle are said to be more encumbered with common 
beggars than almost any other town in the kingdom." I must 
not dwell further upon the wretched state of the poor, or upon 
the hopeless and evil ways which were taken for its relief until, 
at length in 1834, the Poor Law was reformed, and it was 
thenceforward no longer true that " the whole character of the 
people was lowered by the admission that they had a right 
to relief independent of work." The matter was introduced 
to the November meeting in a paper by Mr. Clennell, which 
was read again at the meeting in December, when it 
was resolved to appoint an open Committee, which should 
meet every Monday evening at five o'clock, for the purpose 
of collecting information on the subject of making provision 
for the poor. 

Closely connected with the better provision for the bodies of 
the poor was that of better provision for their minds. We were 
contented to lag far behind other civilised peoples in the matter 
of education. " It is difficult to conceive," says Mr. Porter in 
his Progress of the Nation, "that any nation calling itself 
civilised, and boasting itself to walk in the light of Christianity, 
could have so neglected the all-important subject of education, 
as did the rulers of England up to the beginning of the present 
century." There were, indeed, parochial charity schools, in 
which " the little that was taught had nothing in it which was 
useful;" Sunday-schools had recently been started, but had 
made, as yet, little progress; Joseph Lancaster had begun, in 
a humble and tentative way, his grand work of primary school 
teaching in 1798 ; and Dr. Bell had started his great scheme in 
a similar direction when this century entered upon its course. 



156 



MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 



v 



III 



But it was not until 1839 ^^^^ ^ Board of Education was 
formed. It was to consist of five Privy Councillors, over whom 
the President of the Council was to preside. To this Board 
was to be entrusted the distribution of such a sum as should 
be voted by Parliament for the promotion of education, and it 
was specially charged with the formation of normal schools. 
The House of Commons resolved, by a majority of two, that 
;£'30,ooo should be put at the disposal of this Board, but the 
House of Lords, on the motion of a learned prelate, carried 
against the Government, and by a majority of 1 1 1, an address 
to the Queen, praying her to revoke the order in Council by 
which the Board of Education had been appointed. The 
Government, happily, went quietly on with its plans, and left 
the House of Lords lamenting. 

But more than a quarter of a century before this had the 
education of the poor claimed the close and frequent attention 
of this Society. It appears to have been brought forward, in the 
first instance, by Mr. James Graham, of Berwick, in an essay 
read at the monthly meeting in June 1806. The following month 
"the subject was again taken up by Mr. Isaac Richardson, who 
read an Essay on the Propriety of introducing the Mode of 
Instruction proposed by Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster." In June 
1808 the Committee advertised thus : — " Education of the Poor. 
A Paper having been read at the last monthly meeting of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, recommending a more 
effectual attention to the Education of the Poor, it was deemed 
expedient to renew the consideration of this very important 
subject at their next meeting on July 5, when the Committee 
request a full attendance, as it is expected that some Proposals 
will be laid before the Society on the best mode of introducing 
into this Town some mode of Education on the plan of Dr. Bell 
and Mr. Lancaster." Mr. Isaac Richardson at this meeting 



/ 
I 



I 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



157 



again brought the matter forward, and the next Report says : 
"In consequence of this, a number of individuals, as well 
members of the Society as others, joined in a respectful appli- 
cation to the Corporation for their countenance and support in 
so laudable an undertaking; and the Committee have the 
satisfaction of reporting that the Mayor and Corporation have 
publicly advertised their intention to bring forward a plan for 
this important purpose." 

This movement proved to have been peculiarly opportune, 
for when George III. attained his jubilee in 18 10, although the 
event was celebrated with the time-honoured swilling and 
guzzling which are, in our favoured land, the outward and 
visible signs of inward and abiding rejoicing, some sober- 
minded people ventured to think that something more might 
be attempted. And thus arose the Royal Jubilee School in 
this as in many another town, where a little (very little) free 
education might be given to the children of the poor. The 
foundation-stone was laid, and the School was built in com- 
memoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of 
George III. That respectable but limited monarch had said, 
" May every poor child in the kingdom learn to read the Bible." 
It was something, however little, in the right direction. The 
school built to fulfil this wish soon grew and widened its cur- 
riculum, and it continued to do a useful work until the passing 
of the Education Act in 1870 made a national system of 
education a possibility, when it became the property of the 

School Board. 

But these beginnings of primary education are so interesting 
and of such importance that I must show a little more precisely 
what our Society did, at Mr. Isaac Richardson's instigation, to 
aid the valuable movement The resolutions passed are worth 
recording : — 



158 



MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



159 



li!| 



** I. That the establishment of a general institution for the education 
of the poor agreeably to the plan of Dr. Bell and Mr. Lancaster is a 
measure which it is highly expedient should be adopted in the town of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

2. That from the printed Regulations it appears that in the chari- 
table institutions in Newcastle for the education of the children of the 
poor? 358 Boys and Girls receive weekly instruction in reading, writing, 
and the first rules of arithmetic (and the Girls in sewing and knitting), 
and that about 750 other children are taught to read and taken to 
places of public worship on the Sundays. 

3. That the probable amount of children under fourteen years of 
age is not less than 5600; perhaps considerably exceeds this number — 
that of course, after every reasonable deduction for the numbers above 
mentioned, and also for children educated at the expence of their 
parents, a large proportion of the population of this town must remain 
without education. 

4. That a letter be respectfully addressed to the Mayor and 
Corporation in Common Council assembled, submitting to their con- 
sideration the above-mentioned facts — and requesting that they will be 
pleased to call a general meeting of the inhabitants, for the purpose of 
considering the best mode of providing for the establishment of a 
general scheme for the education of the children of the poor. 

5. That the next meeting of the Committee (on Tuesday, July 12) 
be an open Committee, which any of the members who are friends to 
the proposed institution are requested to attend." 

Mr. Isaac Richardson has long since passed away, but his 
descendants have been proud to continue his good work. They 
may still be found in the front rank of our local educationists ; 
and the loss of few citizens has been more justly mourned than 
that of his niece, Miss Ellen Richardson, a wise, powerful, and 
persistent worker in the cause of education, and who only died 
in the spring of this year, 1 896. 



To the resolutions are appended certain notes and educa- 
tional statistics : — 

" Charity Schools in Newcastle. 

Saint Nicholas* 
All Saints' 
St. Andrew's - 
St. John's 
St. Ann's 



40 Boys 


40 Girls. 


40 II 


40 II 


33 » 


40 M 


30 » 


—' 


60 „ 


20 „ 


15 clothed, 


— expence £/^o. 


218 Boys 


140 Girls. 


140 





358 

The only Sunday Schools in Newcastle belonging to the established 
church are those in the Parish of All Saints, where 120 Boys and 120 
Girls are taught by Three Masters and Three Mistresses. 

Annual Expence of All Saints' Charity School, £2^^, 

1 20 Boys - 120 Girls All Saints. 
30 „ - 30 „ Hanover Sq., expence ;^2i. 

175 „ - 175 „ Methodists. 



325 Boys 
325 Girls 



325 Girls. 



650 



There are now in Newcastle-upon-Tyne 37,000 children of 
school age as compared with the estimated 5600 in 1809, and of 
these 33,000 are at school. The amount spent annually in the 
city upon primary education exceeds £6$,ooo. There are, 
according to returns kindly furnished me by members of the 
different religious denominations, 31,484 scholars in the Sabbath- 
schools of the city. 



'i>.i^ti^-i 



i6o 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



i6i 



* 



\i 



Upon the 29th July, 1808, it was announced formally, from the 
Mayor's Chamber, that a subscription would be opened for " the 
erection of a School Room for the Education of the Children of 
the Poor of Newcastle and its Neighbourhood, according to the 
Principles of Instruction proposed by Dr. Bell and Mr. Joseph 
Lancaster, immediately after a sufficiently convenient Scite for 
the said Building should have been determined upon." 

Then, upon the 28th September, a representation was 
presented from several of the respectable inhabitants to the 
mayor, aldermen, and common council of this town, suggesting 
the expediency of marking the fiftieth year of the accession of 
his majesty to the throne, by some token of respect more per- 
manent and valuable than that of illumination. The corporate 
body highly and unanimously approved the suggestion, and 
resolved to recommend, in lieu of illumination, a subscription for 
the establishment of a school for the religious and more general 
education of the children of the poor of the town. 

The Committee, on the 20th February, 1810, placed one of 
the rooms of the Society at the service of "the Committee for 
the establishment of the Schools for the more general education 
of the children of the poor, for holding their meetings on the 
business of that institution." 

I may quote upon this subject the words of the Report of 
18 12 :— " The members of the Society will reflect, with conscious 
satisfaction, that they have frequently been the means of pro- 
moting by their co-operation the public-spirited and benevolent 
views of others. Particularly, that they have mainly contributed 
to excite the general attention which has been paid in this town 
and neighbourhood to the education of the children of the poor. 
This interesting subject was first brought forward for discussion 
by an excellent member since deceased (Mr. Isaac Richardson) ; 
and engaged the attention of several monthly meetings of the 



Society under the personal sanction of the President. From 
these discussions arose the several propositions which were made 
for carrying into (effect) so important a measure, and which, 
both in Newcastle and Gateshead, have excited so much the 
laudable exertions of the public at large. Whatever differences 
of opinion may have taken place on matters of detail, it is 
sufficient that the great object contemplated by this Society, 
which had no party views or purposes to serve, is promoted in 
either way ; nay better, perhaps, in the end, by the activity 
which a spirit of competition may excite and maintain : and 
there can surely be none but a laudable and beneficial activity 
in such a cause." 

But we have got a little far forward and must turn back to 
April 1798, when we have an illustration of the great variety 
of the questions discussed at these monthly meetings, for 
the question then brought forward was that, which has not 
yet been solved, of a universal standard of Weights and 
measures, and the most practical and easy way of applying 
it to remove the inconveniences which arose from the weights 
and measures then in use. That the variety of the papers 
was great, and the questions discussed were of local as 
well as of general interest, are shown by the fact that 
in the following year two meetings were chiefly occupied in 
considering the question of the embankment of Jarrow Slake. 
Questions relating to the improvement of the River Tyne were 
often brought forward, and in many ways. Thus in February 
1802, the making of a canal from Newcastle to Hexham was 
discussed, and in the same year Mr. Joseph Bulmer introduced 
the subject of " certain improvements in Newcastle Bridge, and 
of a new line of quay above bridge on the north side of the 
river, with a view to promote the deepening of the tide-way, the 
removal of the sand, and the accommodation of small craft." 

II 



M 



162 MONTHL Y MEETINGS, 

This paper was afterwards published. Again, the construction of 
a bridge across the Tyne between North and South Shields was 
advocated, and these matters were not merely talked about and 
then thrown aside, but they were carefully developed and dis- 
cussed again and yet again. 

The river leads naturally to the sea, and the sea suggests to 
those of us who look back to the first half of the century, 
thoughts of wild winter nights when the waves held high 
carnival and sported with the lives of those who go down to the 
sea in ships. It is a dangerous strand that of mountainous 
Northumberland, and in those days there was no refuge to be 
found by those who were so unfortunate as to be near it when 
the fell north-easter blew. Before the invaluable labours of 
the Tyne Commissioners had borne fruit, you might see, at 
one and the same time, many gallant ships lying wrecked at 
the mouth of the Tyne, on the dangerous rocks on the north 
known as the Black Middens, and upon the less forbidding 
but even more treacherous Herd Sands on the south. It is 
not to be wondered at that the Port of Tyne is the birthplace 
of lifeboats and life brigades. 

In May 1798 the attention of the Society was drawn to the 
subject of lifeboats by a great and disastrous storm which 
occasioned much loss of life. The lifeboat had been invented 
some nine years before. Without mentioning the London 
coachbuilder, Lionel Lukin, who is said to have taken out a 
patent for such a boat in 1785, it is certain that there was a com- 
petition in 1788 for a premium offered by a Committee of 
South Shields citizens for the best design of a boat which would 
set the terrors of a stormy sea at defiance. One model was sent 
by Henry Greathead, a boatbuilder, and another by William 
Wouldhave, a journeyman painter. Neither of them satisfied 
the Committee, who gave Wouldhave a small sum for his as the 



MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 



163 



second best, but ordered Greathead to build a boat, apparently 
founded upon his model, but with many alterations suggested 
by them. This boat was built, and it first put to sea on the 
30th January, 1790. 

Now, when the members of this Society wished to have 
accurate information upon this important subject, they not 
unnaturally applied "to Nicholas Fairies, Esq., an Honorary 
Member of this Society, requesting that he would take the 
trouble to procure them an account of its construction and ad- 
vantages, and favour the Society with his sentiments on the most 
probable method of rendering the knowledge of it general, so as 
not only to be consistent with, but to promote, the interest of its 
inventor." For some reason Mr. Fairies did not reply to this 
communication, but the matter did not drop, and the Society, 
having had the advantage of personal explanation from the 
inventor, and of an inspection of his drawings and plans, took 
active steps to have his claims brought before Parliament, which 
voted him ;fi200. The Trinity House, Lloyds, the Royal 
Humane Society, and the Society of Arts, also presented him 
with medals and gifts of money. 

But in July 1802 Mr. Wouldhave wrote to the Society and 
formally laid claim to the invention of the lifeboat, and then and 
ever since there has been much contention as to the true inventor. 
There can be little doubt in the mind of any one who has, at this 
distance of time, carefully looked into the matter, that there was 
more of the Wouldhave model than the Greathead model in the 
boat ultimately constructed. So far as the invention is a north- 
country one, it must be admitted that the man who most 
certainly and sagely thought out the true principles upon which 
any successful boat must be constructed did not get the rewards. 

One peculiarity of many of the papers read to the Society was 
that they seemed to have the power of arousing antagonism. 



U! 



m 



m 



164 MONTHL Y MEETINGS. 

opposition, or competition, to quite an extraordinary extent. We 
have seen this already evidenced in the instances of the hfeboat 
and the safety-lamp, and I note that at the December meeting 
in 1808, no sooner has one gentleman introduced a washmg 
machine constructed on a new method, than a grocer at the 
Head of the Side addresses a letter to the Society announcing 
that he has discovered another washing machine of a very simple 
construction, and soliciting the inspection of members. This 
was to be the beginning of the end of the familiar and dreaded 
washing-day. It is not recorded whether the Society ascertamed 
by experiment which of the rival machines did the least damage 
to the articles entrusted to it. Not inappropriately, a drawing 
and description of an improved mangle was submitted to the 
inspection of the members at the July meeting of the followmg 

year. , , • i 

Indeed, the monthly meetings were like a good sherris sack 

in that they had a manifold operation. New methods of tanning, 
of glass-making, of chemical manufacture, of milling, of hat- 
making ; new ways of growing plums and peaches; the mode in 
which the decay of the older kinds of apple and pear trees might 
most certainly be checked, were not merely mentioned but care- 
fully thought out and fought out. In December 1809, Sir 
George Cayle/s papers on the possibility of constructing an 
apparatus for flying were discussed; and the subject for con- 
sideration at the two following meetings was " a proposed mode 
of ballasting ships by water confined in iron tanks." Turning 
these two problems over in their minds, our fathers probably 
found it hard to say which, if either, would be fully and 
satisfactorily solved before the close of the century. 

Bearing in mind the remarkable discoveries in electrical 
science which have been brought before this Society by our 
President, Lord Armstrong, and our Vice-President, Mr. J. W. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



16S 



Swan, the following entry in the report presented in 1801 has 
a certain interest : — 

" Few persons can be totally unacquainted with the many curious 
phenomena which have been noticed by those ingenious persons who 
have set themselves to investigate that surprising modification of the 
electric fluid, which, from its first observer, has obtained the name of 
Galvanism. Desirous to exhibit to his fellow-members some of the 
most striking of these phenomena, the senior Secretary, with the 
friendly assistance of the ingenious Mr. Joseph Garnett, to whom, 
though not a member, the Society has on former occasions been much 
obliged, constructed a pretty powerful galvanic pile, which for several 
weeks continued to amuse those who visited the Rooms." 

There is a sense of home enjoyment, of family life, about 
such a proceeding, which I am afraid is wanting in the Society 
of to-day. 

But it was not easy to keep up the supply of papers, 
although, looking back over three-quarters of a century, it 
seems to us as though nothing of great importance happened 
without the Society's having its say in connection with it In 
1812, the Comet of 18 11 was discoursed upon "very elaborately 
and its path elucidated by a model." The Blenkinsop engine 
and its work at Leeds were described by Mr. Turner in the 
same year. In 18 17 Mr. George Raine, an apprentice at the 
Team Iron Works, exhibited "an ingenious invention for 
obviating the resistance of the back-water to the float-boards 
of steam-boats." But the managers of the Society were 
uneasy because of shortness of supply, and made many 
an endeavour to get more communications. In January 
1 8 14, Mr. Turner brought this matter forward, introducing 
it by a paper in which he explained what had been done 
already. I may quote what he says about the origin of 



! 



I I 



i66 



MONTH L Y MEETINGS. 



the Society, because it more fully establishes that which has 
been explained in a preceding chapter. " It was in consequence 
of the circulation of a paper read to a private meeting of a few 
friends . . . that this Society was established more than twenty 
years ago. Its original scheme was on a scale comparatively 
limited ; being little more than a club or meeting for friendly 
discussion on literary subjects, either formally introduced by 
the reading of papers, or spontaneously arising in the course 
of ordinary conversation." He then went on to show how this 
object had been but partially accomplished, and how original 
communications were diminishing in number. He pointed out 
that by the starting of Societies formed to investigate some of 
the special matters which had been taken up by ours, the 
sources of supply would be still further lessened, and he con- 
cluded by stating that a few members had resolved to take in 
turn the duty of furnishing papers for the monthly meetings. 

For a time this plan was successful. The number of papers 
and the attendance of members alike increased ; the value and 
interest of the discussions was widely acknowledged; and 
the Society was once more kept fully abreast of the literary and 
scientific movements of the day. But ere long the demon of 
jealousy showed its ugly head, and the idea was set loose that 
the members who read papers formed a select coterie who 
dictated the policy of the meetings. As that policy had 
succeeded, this was not an unmixed evil if it had been true, 
but it was not true, and the false notion did harm. 

When the Society got into its new building the meetings 
were at first kept up more easily, and many matters of 
great value and importance were brought before them. It 
had often been suggested that some of the papers should be 
published by the Society, and about this time the idea took 
shape; a sub-committee was appointed to attend to the 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



167 



matter, and it actually set about the work. But it came to nothing. 
It is interesting to read in the Annual Report presented in March 
183 1, as part of the elaborate excuse offered by the sub- 
committee to explain their slow progress, "the distraction of 
the public attention, and particularly of the Press, by the various 
political questions and proposals which have taken up so much 
of it, and which at this hour are approaching their crisis." How 
long ago it seems! How hard it is for us to enter into the 
feelings of our forefathers during the fierce fight over the first. 
Reform Bill ! 

It is to some extent regrettable that the idea of publication 
was abandoned, for many of the papers were of such a character 
as to have an enduring interest. Some of these were indeed 
printed, but in a fugitive form, and the Society has, in more 
than a century, published nothing which might serve as a 
permanent record of the excellent work which it has done. 
And yet it has been connected in quite an unusual way with 
many of the great men who have given that century its special 
feature, that of the triumphant application of science to the 
service of man. I have already mentioned several instances, 
notably that of George Stephenson and the safety-lamp. He 
does not seem to have brought his locomotive engine before 
it at any time, but when he was engaged in his splendid 
struggle with Chat Moss, and when the most eminent engineers 
had reported in favour of stationary engines and against the 
locomotive, we find that in that highly critical year in the 
history of steam locomotion, 1828, the members were following 
the bold construction of that tremendous undertaking, the 
Liverpool and Manchester Railway, with pride and interest. 
They do not seem to have shared the doubts and fears of the 
Southerners about the locomotive engine, for they were busily 
discussing, amongst other points, Mr. Robert Stephenson's 



1 68 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



scheme of using coke instead of coal in steam engine 

boilers. 

In November 1831, another of the great discoverers who 
have been connected with the Society, ]\Ir. Hugh Lee Pattinson, 
then Assay Master at Alston to the Greenwich Hospital, 
read an elaborate paper upon the smelting and refining of 
lead ore, a process which had become so closely identified 
with his name when, in the year 1829, he discovered "the 
world-famous Pattinson process of separating lead and silver 

by crystallising." 

There are many other papers which it would be pleasant to 
dwell upon, but I must only mention one or two more which have, 
in one way or another, quite a special interest. I shall have, in a 
subsequent chapter, to devote considerable attention to that in 
which, in 183 T, Mr. T. M. Greenhow developed his views " On the 
expediency of establishing in Newcastle an Academical or Col- 
legiate Institution for the education of Youth in the higher 
branches of knowledge." In the same year two evenings were 
devoted to discussing the important question of the state of the 
River Tyne, with a view to the improvement of its navigation, 
Mr. John Macgregar reading a "Treatise" on the subject, 
which was afterwards published, and which contained " many 
important and valuable remarks and suggestions." I note in 
passing, with much interest, that a gentleman who admirably 
filled the office of Treasurer for many years, and who is happily 
still with us, Mr. R. R. Dees, on October 7th, 1834, "read a 
paper on 'the Inexpediency of Capital Punishments,' which 
has since been printed at the request of several friends." In 
nothing, perhaps, has this century seen greater advance than in 
the art of travel. Whether knowledge be increased or not, men 
run to and fro upon the earth to an extent which is simply 
amazing. There was nothing to compare with this in the first 




ROBERT STEPHENSON, M.P., F.R.S. 



1 68 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



scheme of using coke instead of coal in steam engine 

boilers. 

In November 1831, another of the great discoverers who 
have been connected with the Society, Mr. Hugh Lee Pattinson, 
then Assay Master at Alston to the Greenwich Hospital, 
read an elaborate paper upon the smelting and refining of 
lead ore, a process which had become so closely identified 
with his name when, in the year 1829, he discovered "the 
world-famous Pattinson process of separating lead and silver 

by crystallising.*' 

There are many other papers which it would be pleasant to 
dwell upon, but I must only mention one or two more which have, 
in one way or another, quite a special interest. I shall have, in a 
subsequent chapter, to devote considerable attention to that in 
which, in 1831, Mr. T. M. Greenhow developed his views " On the 
expediency of establishing in Newcastle an Academical or Col- 
legiate Institution for the education of Youth in the higher 
branches of knowledge." In the same year two evenings were 
devoted to discussing the important question of the state of the 
River Tyne, with a view to the improvement of its navigation, 
Mr. John Macgregar reading a "Treatise" on the subject, 
which was afterwards published, and which contained " many 
important and valuable remarks and suggestions." I note in 
passing, with much interest, that a gentleman who admirably 
filled the office of Treasurer for many years, and who is happily 
still with us, Mr. R. R. Dees, on October 7th, 1834, "read a 
paper on *the Inexpediency of Capital Punishments,' which 
has since been printed at the request of several friends." In 
nothing, perhaps, has this century seen greater advance than in 
the art of travel. Whether knowledge be increased or not, men 
run to and fro upon the earth to an extent which is simply 
amazing. There was nothing to compare with this in the first 




ROBERT STEPHENSON, M.P., F.R.S. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



169 



half of this century. The men who travelled had some clear 
reason for doing so ; they did it with a definite object in view, 
quite other than mere pleasurable or restful change of scene. 
Norway was, for all practical purposes, further off from us then 
than Greece or Palestine is now, and he who could speak of it 
from personal knowledge was a much greater acquisition than a 
Greek or Syrian traveller of to-day is. In 1835 Mr. W. C. 
Hewitson, the eminent oologist, enlivened two meetings with an 
account of a tour which he had made in the Scandinavian penin- 
sula in search of birds, eggs, and other objects connected with 
Natural History. Upon this tour he was accompanied by John 
Hancock, and they made their way to the far North, spending a 
considerable time in the Arctic Circle, then an almost unknown 
part of an all but unknown land, and gathering good harvest of 
knowledge of the life and habits of the innumerable birds 
which make the cliffs and mountains of the Land of the 
Midnight Sun their summer home. 

But although other forms of usefulness, as we shall see more 
fully hereafter, were opening to the Society, the reading of 
important papers at the monthly meetings was nearly at an 
end. It is hardly too much to say that it died a natural 
death, partly from the constant increase in the number of local 
societies each with its own specific object of research, and partly 
from the rapid extension of the railway system. The Literary and 
Philosophical Society no longer held a unique position. It had 
no longer a monopoly of the opportunities which the town and 
district could offer for literary and scientific discussion, and soon 
the members who were carrying on independent research found 
it more satisfactory to take the results of their labours to the 
learned Societies in the metropolis, where they would receive 
the attention and have the advantage of the criticism of men 
of kindred pursuits from all parts of the United Kingdom. In 



170 



MONTHLY MEETINGS. 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 



171 



\h 



i 



the forty-fifth year of the Society's existence the Committee 
reported that only one paper, a communication from Lieutenant 
A. M. Skene respecting his patent paddle-wheel, had been 
read. There was little improvement in the following years. In 
1840 Mr. H. L. Pattinson explained the new invention of the 
Daguerreotype, which has long since been superseded by more 
rapid photographic processes. I must also note that in the 
Session 1842-43, Mr. T. P. Barkas, whose genial face was for 
so many years so familiar to our members, who took so active a 
part in the voluntary work of the Society, and who became " a 
household word " in this district for the zeal and ability with 
which he spread abroad the truths and disputable phases of 
scientific and quasi-scientific investigation, first made his appear- 
ance in connection with this institution, reading a paper upon 
" Phonography, or General Shorthand." 

The Committee never ceased to urge upon the members the 
great importance of keeping up the supply of papers. Nay, 
they went much further than this : like Goldsmith's good pastor, 

" They tried each art, reproved each dull delay, 
Allured to (better things), and led the way." 

« 

In the report presented in 1846 they speak with some pride of 
the fact that six papers had been forthcoming in the Session 
which was just over, but they little dreamed that, half a century 
afterwards, the civilised world would be prepared gratefully to 
acknowledge that their pride was justifiable and amply justified 
by the results. The whole of the papers were contributed by 
members of the Committee, and they arranged with the pro- 
prietors of the Newcastle Daily Chronicle to give full reports which 
should afterwards be put into octavo form, uniform with The 
Newcastle Reprints, and a number of copies were to be struck 
off for those members who cared to obtain them. Amongst the 



'^. 



papers thus provided were three by " our talented young towns- 
man, Mr. W. G. Armstrong," as the papers of that day spoke 
of our honoured President of to-day. The first was " On the 
spheroidal condition of liquids, and on the freezing of liquids in 
a red-hot crucible," and well do those who were privileged to 
be present remember the burst of enthusiastic applause which 
greeted the successful performance of an experiment which 
seemed really to be the achieving of the impossible. The 
second paper was " On the employment of a column of water 
as a motive power for propelling machinery," and was illustrated 
by many novel and interesting experiments, and "a beautiful 
model representing a portion of the quay of this town, with a 
crane upon it adapted to work by the action of the water in the 
street pipes, was placed upon the floor." This was described 
and shown in operation, and then follows in the report a striking 
and admirable instance of the caution and modesty of our great 
townsman. " Mr. A. concluded with some appropriate remarks, 
in which he stated that he did not advocate the immediate 
adoption of his plan, because any plan, however useful, might 
be injured if forced prematurely forward, before the age was 
ready to receive it." His third paper was "On some of the 
characteristics of voltaic and frictional electricity." With 
peculiar pleasure I record how nearly half a century afterwards, 
on the 7th February, 1893, — that memorable night when our 
Society celebrated its centenary, — Lord Armstrong once more 
delighted a large and brilliant audience by his treatment of this 
subject, and the remarkable and unique series of experiments by 
which he illustrated it 

But the day of the monthly meetings was over. The 
audiences grew smaller and smaller, the papers scarce, and 
discussions upon them scarcer. By the year 1856 the annual 
reports ceased to notice them. A few earnest attempts have 



172 



MONTHLY MEETINGS, 






been made to revive them, but there was no demand for them, 
and the endeavours failed. The only business transacted at 
them came to be the election of members, save on two or 
three occasions when some special question closely affecting 
the welfare of the Society has been brought forward by 
special notice. Since June 1889 they have ceased to be held 
at all, the election of members having been entrusted to the 
Committee. 






CHAPTER VIII. 



THE LIBRARY. 



\ 

V ' 

r \ 



I 




h 



" With awe, around these silent walks I tread ; 
These are the lasting mansions of the dead : — 

* The dead ! ' methinks a thousand tongues reply ; 

* These are the tombs of such as cannot die ! ' " 

HE collection of books for public use shows that a 
people has reached that stage of civilisation when 
some considerable part of it has begun to enjoy the 
quiet and studious phases of life. Amongst the most interesting 
relics which have been discovered of that Assyrian people which 
was once the foremost of the nations of the earth are the small 
tablets, some of minute size, covered with cuneiform inscrip- 
tions, and preserved together in great numbers. The enormous 
number of volumes said to have been contained in the Alex- 
andrian libraries, or in those which were established by the 
Moorish conquerors of Spain, fills us with amazement. The first 
of these numbered some yoofyoo volumes, and that founded by 
Hakam at Cordova 400,000 volumes. It is quite possible that 
these figures are exaggerated, and as they record manuscripts, 
not printed books, it is fallacious to compare them with the great 
libraries of the present day, for a comparatively small printed 
book would make a large manuscript. But the difficulty of 
collection then was incomparably greater than it is now. At 



t\ 



174 



THE LIBRARY. 



present the largest library in the world is the Bibh'otheque 
Nationale in Paris, with 2,600,000 volumes, the British Museum 
coming next with 1,600,000. We may perhaps find some con- 
solation for the fact that we have to occupy only the second 
place in the knowledge that our National Library has 203,000 
readers in the year, whilst that of the French has not even 
a third of that number. 

A century ago there were few public libraries out of London; 
few to which the public could obtain admission by subscription; 
and what there were did not contain any great number of books. 
Here, as in other lands, wealthy noblemen of learned tastes 
gathered large collections together as book-collectors, or for the 
delectation of the owners or their friends, but it would have 
been a noteworthy incident if, in a private house, you could 
have found four or five thousand well-selected volumes. Now 
there are many of such libraries to be found in every part of 
the country. 

We are not surprised to find that when Mr. Turner brought 
forward his scheme for a Literary Society on January 24th, 
1793, he left the question of the establishment of a General 
Library for future consideration. When, at the next meeting 
on the 7th February, with the Rev. Edward Moises in the 
chair, the Society was formed and its laws were discussed, one 
of the rules agreed to gave members the right to recommend, 
and General Meetings the right to direct, the purchase of books. 
In December of the same year, Mr. Moises wrote to Mr. Turner 
recommending the appointment of a committee to consider the 
outlines of a plan for carrying into more immediate effect the 
establishment of a General Library. Upon the loth of that 
month the committee was duly selected, and in due course it 
made its report, and drew up regulations for the management 
of the intended Library. 




THE REV. E. MOISES. 



I I 



174 



THE LIBRARY, 



present the largest library in the world is the Bibliotheque 
Nationale in Paris, with 2,600,000 volumes, the British Museum 
coming next with 1,600,000. We may perhaps find some con- 
solation for the fact that we have to occupy only the second 
place in the knowledge that our National Library has 203,000 
readers in the year, whilst that of the French has not even 
a third of that number. 

A century ago there were few public libraries out of London ; 
few to which the public could obtain admission by subscription; 
and what there were did not contain any great number of books. 
Here, as in other lands, wealthy noblemen of learned tastes 
gathered large collections together as book-collectors, or for the 
delectation of the owners or their friends, but it would have 
been a noteworthy incident if, in a private house, you could 
have found four or five thousand well-selected volumes. Now 
there are many of such libraries to be found in every part of 

the country. 

We are not surprised to find that when Mr. Turner brought 
forward his scheme for a Literary Society on January 24th, 
1793, he left the question of the establishment of a General 
Library for future consideration. When, at the next meeting 
on the 7th February, with the Rev. Edward Moises in the 
chair, the Society was formed and its laws were discussed, one 
of the rules agreed to gave members the right to recommend, 
and General Meetings the right to direct, the purchase of books. 
In December of the same year, Mr. Moises wrote to Mr. Turner 
recommending the appointment of a committee to consider the 
outlines of a plan for carrying into more immediate effect the 
establishment of a General Library. Upon the loth of that 
month the committee was duly selected, and in due course it 
made its report, and drew up regulations for the management 
of the intended Library, 




THE REV. E. MOISES. 



41 



THE LIBRARY. 



175 



I 



||! 



w 



m 



U 



How humble the ideal of Mr. Moises and his committee was 
may well be gathered from the fact that at first an attempt 
was made to get the books by begging. The second Annual 
Report, presented on the loth of March, 1795, has this note 
appended to it — 

" May it be permitted to hint that many books have found 
their way into the libraries of individuals, which, having no 
connection with the general line of study of their respective 
owners, are of little use to them, but might form a valuable 
addition to a general Library." 

Now of all the ways which there are of collecting books, — 
buying, begging, reviewing, or stealing, — begging is the least 
satisfactory. The works which men are anxious or willing to 
get rid of are, as a rule, exactly those which other men do not 
wish to possess. Still, in our case, the hint was taken, and some 
of the proffered presents were worth the having. In the follow- 
ing report (the third) a catalogue of all the books then in the 
possession of the Society is given. There were 20 folios, 142 
quartos, 240 octavos, 27 duodecimos, and 10 maps! The 
greater part of the books were what at that time were called 
works upon Natural Philosophy (and what we should style 
scientific books), and books of travel. 

Let me say here, in order that I may not be misunderstood, 
that from the earliest infancy of the Society there have been 
handsome gifts of books made to it, books of the highest worth. 
Many of the most valuable works in our great collection have been 
thus acquired ; but they were voluntary presents, not alms-gifts. 
I may instance the case of Alderman Armstrong, in 1858, who 
had desired that the Society should be invited to select from his 
library such scientific works as it did not already possess. This 
desire was so liberally fulfilled by his son, the present Lord 



ill 



fl 



1/6 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



f 



I 



i 



i.i 



Armstrong, that 1 284 works of great value were added to the 
Society's collection, and it obtained a more complete Mathe- ^ 
matical Department than any other provincial institution in the 
kingdom. 

But, even in Solomon's time, " of the making of books there 
was no end," and the practice has considerably increased 
through the twenty-eight centuries which have elapsed since 
that strange mixture of philosopher and fool placed the fact on 
record. What is true of the making is equally true of the 
collecting of books, and in reading, " increase of appetite doth 
grow by that it feeds on." From the previous chapters the 
reader has learned that the Society's books became numerous 
so rapidly that it had to move from one place to another for 
more accommodation, and had at length to build a home of 
permanent residence. At the time of opening this new building 
in 1825, the Society possessed more than 8000 volumes. I 
cannot find the exact number stated in any report, and it is not 
mentioned in Mr. Turner's address to the members on the 
occasion of their first meeting in the new rooms ; but in the 
case which was submitted for Mr. Charles Butler's opinion 
about this very time, and in which the question of the best 
mode of holding the Society's property was raised, it is stated 
that the library then contained upwards of 8oo(3^volumes. At 
the time of the Centenary celebration they were supposed to 
have increased in number to 35,000, and there are now in 1896, 
48,000 books belonging to the Society, upwards of 2000 
volumes being added each year. To this I may add that the 
salaries of the staff of paid officers has increased from 
nothing in the first year of the Society's existence to ;£^454 
6s. 8d. in the year 1895 ; and the sum expended upon books 
from £yi ys, in the first year of its possessing a library to 
£10^7 5s. id. in the year 1895-96. 



1 1 



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177 



We find that, from the first, the usual difficulties which attend 
upon the keeping and lending of books were fully experienced 
by our Society. The borrowers were frequently at fault. The 
books were returned in a mutilated condition ; alterations, 
erasures, inscriptions, and marginal notes were made in them ; 
illustrations were removed and retained ; books were lent to 
non-members ; and many volumes joined that great regiment of 
lotos-eating works which is so painfully familiar to those who 
lend their books, and returned no more. Then, as so frequently 
since, there were certain works which were objected to by 
certain members because they considered them to be works of 
religious controversy. So early as 1796 a written protest was 
made against Hume's Essays, Cudworth's Intellectual System, 
and Paley's Evidences of Christianity, and the Committee 
allowed the propriety of the remonstrance, and those books 
were ordered to be removed from the Society's shelves. 

Perhaps the hardest of all the battles which have been 
fought upon this knotty question of proper books was that 
which was waged in January and February, 1829, over the 
purchase by the Committee of Lord Byron's Don Juan. One 
curious feature of these discussions was the introduction of 
letters written to individual members by gentlemen living at a 
distance, and of more or less literary distinction, and another 
was the great part which the press of the district took in the 
fray. The book had to be withdrawn, but, from the observations 
which they make in the Annual Report presented in March of 
that year, the Committee evidently felt aggrieved at the way in 
which their selection had been attacked, and "the peace and 
comfort " of the Society had been disturbed. 

I suppose that those of us who did not live in the first 
quarter of this nineteenth century have but little idea of the 
literary zeal, devotion, and enthusiasm which then permeated 

12 



n 



II 



176 



THE LIBRARY, 



Armstrong, that 1 284 works of great value were added to the 
Society's collection, and it obtained a more complete Mathe- ^ 
matical Department than any other provincial institution in the 
kingdom. 

But, even in Solomon's time, " of the making of books there 
was no end," and the practice has considerably increased 
through the twenty-eight centuries which have elapsed since 
that strange mixture of philosopher and fool placed the fact on 
record. What is true of the making is equally true of the 
collecting of books, and in reading, " increase of appetite doth 
grow by that it feeds on." From the previous chapters the 
reader has learned that the Society's books became numerous 
so rapidly that it had to move from one place to another for 
more accommodation, and had at length to build a home of 
permanent residence. At the time of opening this new building 
in 1825, the Society possessed more than 8000 volumes. I 
cannot find the exact number stated in any report, and it is not 
mentioned in Mr. Turner's address to the members on the 
occasion of their first meeting in the new rooms ; but in the 
case which was submitted for Mr. Charles Butler's opinion 
about this very time, and in which the question of the best 
mode of holding the Society's property was raised, it is stated 
that the library then contained upwards of 8000 volumes. At 
the time of the Centenary celebration they were supposed to 
have increased in number to 35,000, and there are now in 1896, 
48,000 books belonging to the Society, upwards of 2000 
volumes being added each year. To this I may add that the 
salaries of the staff of paid officers has increased from ^ 
nothing in the first year of the Society's existence to ;f454 
6s. 8d. in the year 1895 ; and the sum expended upon books 
from £^1 ys. in the first year of its possessing a library to 
£10^7 5s. id. in the year 1895-96. 



THE LIBRARY, 



177 



We find that, from the first, the usual difficulties which attend 
upon the keeping and lending of books were fully experienced 
by our Society. The borrowers were frequently at fault. The 
books were returned in a mutilated condition ; alterations, 
erasures, inscriptions, and marginal notes were made in them ; 
illustrations were removed and retained ; books were lent to 
non-members ; and many volumes joined that great regiment of 
lotos-eating works which is so painfully familiar to those who 
lend their books, and returned no more. Then, as so frequently 
since, there were certain works which were objected to by 
certain members because they considered them to be works of 
religious controversy. So early as 1796 a written protest was 
made against Hume's Essays^ Cudworth's Intellectual System^ 
and Paley's Evidences of Christianity^ and the Committee 
allowed the propriety of the remonstrance, and those books 
were ordered to be removed from the Society's shelves. 

Perhaps the hardest of all the battles which have been 
fought upon this knotty question of proper books was that 
which was waged in January and February, 1829, over the 
purchase by the Committee of Lord Byron's Don Juan, One 
curious feature of these discussions was the introduction of 
letters written to individual members by gentlemen living at a 
distance, and of more or less literary distinction, and another 
was the great part which the press of the district took in the 
fray. The book had to be withdrawn, but, from the observations 
which they make in the Annual Report presented in March of 
that year, the Committee evidently felt aggrieved at the way in 
which their selection had been attacked, and "the peace and 
comfort " of the Society had been disturbed. 

I suppose that those of us who did not live in the first 
quarter of this nineteenth century have but little idea of the 
literary zeal, devotion, and enthusiasm which then permeated 

12 



178 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



V' 



the reading world. Looking back upon that great time, we are 
not surprised that this should have been the case. It followed 
closely upon an astounding y?« de Steele, Old things, intellectual 
as well as social, industrial, and political, had been whirled away 
as in a devil's storm, and all things were to become new. 
Some of them have certainly taken their own time over the 
process. That first quarter of the century was alive with 
dreamers, thinkers, and actors. Life was full of stir. The old 
world was going through a period of new birth, for better or 
for worse as you may elect to think, but it would never be the 
same world again. What an outburst of noble song moved men's 
hearts, with what strange, morbid relics of the dead and dirty 
past somewhat dimming the glory, but doing much less harm 
than might, not without reason, have been expected ! The 
healthy mind absorbed the beauty but rejected the excre- 
mentitious adjuncts. How the world waited for a new poem, 
and how they devoured it, and discussed it, and dreamed of it, 
until it became a part of their very lives! It was one of the 
golden times of our English literature, one of those times which 
enormously added to that precious inheritance to which every 
one, rich or poor, great or humble, who can read our English 
tongue, is entitled as of right. 

It is amusing but refreshing to recall too the tremendous 
fights which have been waged in this grave Society over the 
admission of novels. In bygone days men were ready to spill 
much ink and to spend good store of strength to get the Waverley 
Novels admitted or kept out of the Library. If I remember 
rightly they were at last accepted as a gift from some generous 
member! But even so early as 1803 the Committee had ex- 
perienced the extreme difficulty of keeping out fiction, as well as 
other things supposed to be objectionable. They mention then 
that the collected works of " authors who are an honour to our 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



179 



nation " must be purchased, even though theology may be found 
in some part of such works. They also point out that, in the 
case of periodical literature, you must either do without it alto- 
gether, or you must be prepared for " the intermixture of articles 
on all subjects." And so novels which came out in monthly 
magazines were admitted to our shelves, but when completed 
and appearing as separate works, they were strictly tabooed. 
Frequently indeed did "Oliver ask for more," but he did not 
get it. The last fierce battle on this subject was fought some 
thirty years ago, and so fierce was it that timid members fled 
from the crowded and noisy room in unnecessary trepidation. 
It was " all sound and fury, signifying nothing." And in due 
course, not many years ago, novels were at length freely 
admitted, and "nobody seems a penny the worse," excepting, 
possibly, those who are so unfortunate as to read them. 

The fact is that people have grown a little tired of en- 
deavouring to prevent other grown-up people reading what 
they wish to read, and perhaps a little doubtful of the wisdom 
or justice of such a proceeding, and a little conscious that it is 
dictatorial and absurd. No doubt, in point of zeal, we are not 
nearly so good as our fathers were, but ours is certainly tem- 
pered with more discretion than theirs was. The day may come 
when men will feel some surprise to know that for long years 
Auguste Comte's Philosophie positive was a book forbidden to 
our members, and that in quite recent years certain gentlemen 
actually withdrew from the Society because, at a meeting of one 
of the many small associations to which from time to time we 
lend one or other of our rooms, a paper was read upon " The 
Unearned Increment." 

But let us return to the Library. The principal aim of the 
Society has, from the first, been to make it of as much use and 
value to the student as possible, and with this object in view 



i8o 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



i 



■ T 

I 



there has been a constant endeavour to have the books properly 
classified and catalogued. 

The custom in the early years of the Society was to issue 
with the annual report a list of the presents received during 
the preceding twelve months. Books, pamphlets, geological 
and mineralogical specimens, telescopes, shells, inscribed stones 
from the Roman Wall, stuffed birds, maps, and similar mis- 
cellaneous articles, are all mixed up together in these lists in 
the most admired confusion. But the third report, presented 
in March 1796, contains the first catalogue of the Society's 
books, divided according to their sizes, and a supplement to 
this catalogue is given with the fourth report. In the year 
following this plan was again pursued, but in 1798 the Com- 
mittee printed the report by itself, and, in a separate pamphlet, 
they set forth the rules of the Society, a list of its members, and 
a complete catalogue of the books, still classified by size alone, 
blank sheets for the insertion of additions being duly interleaved. 
The Committee intended to make a small charge for these 
pamphlets, but, as the annual accounts were first published in the 
year 1804, I do not know whether this intention was or was not 
carried out. In 1799 the plan of publishing a supplement to 
the catalogue with the annual report was again resorted to, and 
this has been done with considerable regularity ever since. In 
addition to this supplement, a complete catalogue of the books 
and maps was published in 1801. It fills nearly seventeen 
octavo pages, and the division is still that of size. 

Another complete catalogue was published in 1807, and an 
historical sketch of the Society was prefixed to it. In this 
sketch it is stated that the Library then contained nearly four 
thousand volumes ; " that there are few instances of so large a 
collection having been formed of books so generally valuable ; 
and that access to this collection has been rendered more easy to 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



181 






persons of every description, as well occasionally as permanently 
resident, than has been done by any other institution." 

This is a proud boast to make, and we may truly say that 
the liberality which distinguished our Society from the begin- 
ning has continued to be one of its prominent characteristics 
throughout its long and useful career. 

The fifth complete catalogue was published in 181 1, when 
the Library was about seventeen years old. The books were 
divided into eighteen classes, the books in each class being 
arranged alphabetically. There was also a general index, in 
which the whole of the books in the Library were arranged 
alphabetically. This catalogue gave much satisfaction, and one 
consequence was a marked increase in the number of members 
resorting to and making use of the Library. The Committee, 
in commenting upon this satisfactory state of affairs, announced 
that the authorities designed to print the catalogue of the 
Thomlinson Library, and that thus the members, as a part of 
the general public, would at length be able to avail themselves 
of the privilege of access to more than eight thousand volumes 
of much value, and it would be no longer necessary to purchase 
for the Society many costly works which the other library 
contained. Now the Public Library of the city has become 
the repository of the sadly shrunken and shorn Thomlinson 
Library, and we may well bear in mind the wise conclusion of 
our predecessors, that, " unless in particular cases, the purchase 
of many works of great price, but chiefly valuable for purposes 
of reference," may be avoided, their existence " in one accessible 
library in a place being sufficient for every purpose." 

Still, however the purchasing of books might be limited in 
certain directions, it went briskly forward, and the store grew 
with such rapidity that only six years afterwards, in 18 17, 
the annual report stated that considerable progress had been 



I 



^ 



l82 



THE LIBRARY, 



made in the reduction of the various lists of new books issued 
with the annual reports since 1811 into one general supplement, 
classified and arranged in a similar manner to the catalogue of 
that year. It would very shortly be committed to the press. 
But that hope was fallacious, for the preparation of the supple- 
ment proved a much longer business than the Committee had 
anticipated. The examination of the books showed that more 
than a hundred and fifty volumes were missing, and great efforts 
were made to discover their whereabouts and to recover them. 
Amongst other means which were adopted, it was resolved to 
remit the fines in favour of those borrowers who had retained 
and not returned the books which they had taken out. These 
fines had been exacted with much regularity from the 
members who had shown a want of due punctuality in their 
return, and they amounted in one year to more than ^^24. 
The great delay meant, of course, a corresponding great 
increase in the number of books, and thus it came to pass 
that the idea of a general supplement was at length aban- 
doned, and it was resolved to once more revise and print the 
entire catalogue. The missing volumes were, for the most 
part, recovered ; the new catalogue was ready for sale by 
July 1 8 19, and it gave great and general satisfaction. After 
this time the list of works purchased which was issued with 
each annual report was arranged in classes, so that the lists 
and the catalogue might correspond. 

When the Society had completed its new building and the 
books had been removed into it, the Library proved to be very 
deficient " in the standard works of learning and science which 
are necessary to make this a library of reference, as well as of 
mere reading." By frequent perusal, many of the more popular 
books had been soiled and worn, and were no longer fit to 
circulate. They must be replaced. And yet the Committee 





< 

3i 



;5 
o 



25 
O 

H 



l82 



THE LIBRARY. 



made in the reduction of the various lists of new books issued 
with the annual reports since 1811 into one general supplement, 
classified and arranged in a similar manner to the catalogue of 
that year. It would very shortly be committed to the press. 
But that hope was fallacious, for the preparation of the supple- 
ment proved a much longer business than the Committee had 
anticipated. The examination of the books showed that more 
than a hundred and fifty volumes were missing, and great efforts 
were made to discover their whereabouts and to recover them. 
Amongst other means which were adopted, it was resolved to 
remit the fines in favour of those borrowers who had retained 
and not returned the books which they had taken out. These 
fines had been exacted with much regularity from the 
members who had shown a want of due punctuality in their 
return, and they amounted in one year to more than £2\. 
The great delay meant, of course, a corresponding great 
increase in the number of books, and thus it came to pass 
that the idea of a general supplement was at length aban- 
doned, and it was resolved to once more revise and print the 
entire catalogue. The missing volumes were, for the most 
part, recovered ; the new catalogue was ready for sale by 
July 18 19, and it gave great and general satisfaction. After 
this time the list of works purchased which was issued with 
each annual report was arranged in classes, so that the lists 
and the catalogue might correspond. 

When the Society had completed its new building and the 
books had been removed into it, the Library proved to be very 
deficient " in the standard works of learning and science which 
are necessary to make this a library of reference, as well as of 
mere reading." By frequent perusal, many of the more popular 
books had been soiled and worn, and were no longer fit to 
circulate. They must be replaced. And yet the Committee 



I 




< 



o 

X 



o 

2 

H 
55 



THE LIBRARY. 



183 



feared that, even without this expense, much difficulty would 
be found in providing a sum of ;6'230 a year for the purchase 
of new books, and the £<^ " annually required for the purchase 
of works in continuation. Encyclopaedias, Transactions of learned 
Societies, Reviews, Magazines, and Philosophical Journals. It 
was now also necessary to provide more than one copy of 
popular works in order to accommodate members, in any 
adequate way, with new and interesting books." 

This fear was in a measure justified, and the amount ex- 
pended upon the purchase of books had to be reduced ; but, on 
the other hand, the Society received numerous and valuable 
gifts, becoming the possessor of (amongst other things) the 
Public Records, and a fine and important collection of local 
Acts of Parliament Indeed, in spite of poverty and enforced 
parsimony, the year 1827 found the Committee again at its 
familiar task of " the completion and printing of a very complete 
Catalogue of the Society's large and valuable Library." At this 
time It was said that nearly 9000 volumes had been gathered 
together, and the task proved an arduous one. The catalogue 
was not finished until 1829. The Committee then spoke of it 
as " most complete and excellently arranged," and added, " The 
judgment and skill with which the contents of each book, it may 
almost be said, certainly of the several distinct works of each 
considerable author, have been examined, and their respective 
portions assigned to the class of subjects to which they belong, 
while they evince a very extensive range of knowledge, and are 
a striking proof of the patient attention and diligence of the 
Compiler, must eminently contribute to the convenience of those 
Members who may wish to study any particular subject; who 
will thus be directed, not only to those authors, but also to those 
parts of each author's works, in which the objects of their 
research will be found. When it is known, besides, that not the 



1 84 



THE LIBRAE Y. 



THE LIBRARY. 



185 



slightest charge has been made for the many weeks, and even 
months, which have been devoted to this work, your Committee 
are persuaded that the Society will consider itself as under 
obligations to Mr. Hodgson; and will think no more of the 
delay with which its completion must necessarily have been 
attended, and for which the inspection of the Catalogue itself 
will sufficiently account." 

And the Society, as in duty bound, did award its thanks to 
Mr. Thomas Hodgson for the great care and trouble he had 
taken in this matter. 

Mr. Thomas Hodgson, one of the proprietors and editor of 
the Newcastle Chronicle^ became a member of this Society in 
1805, and continued to take an interest in its management until 
his death in 1850. He was trained under the Rev. William 
Turner, and was a man of great and varied ability. He was 
"an elegant and correct classical scholar, of profound anti- 
quarian research and intelligence. . . . His contributions to the 
Typographical Society of this town, whilst they display the 
great excellency to which he had raised the art of printing in 
Newcastle, exhibit the versatility of his intellectual powers, and 
shed a lustre on his native town." He gave the Chronicle the 
position of the leading political organ between York and 
Edinburgh, but the Committee, speaking after his death, say of 
him, " whilst he fearlessly and regardless of consequences avowed 
and urged his principles on public attention, he never wrote a 
line personal to an opponent, or un-becoming a gentleman to 
compose. His kindness and urbanity of disposition endeared 
him to a large circle of devotedly attached friends, and it is not 
the least tribute to his character that all parties regarded him as 
an upright and honest man.'* 

When the traditions of the Elders which had, through long 
centuries, gathered round the Law as given by Moses, were 



reduced into writing, and the Mishnah was an accomplished 
fact, the traditions which were in turn to form the Gemara, 
began at once to cluster round the Mishnah. And similarly, 
the very year which saw the new Catalogue appear, saw also a 
Supplement printed of the books which had been added to the 
Library since the date of the Catalogue, and each subsequent 
year saw a similar Supplement appear. In five years* time, 
1834, a General Supplement was printed, alphabetically arranged 
for the purpose of easy reference, but with the class of each 
book inserted before its date; but this publication did not in any 
way interfere with the regular annual appearance of classified 
book lists. 

All this time there were difficulties in actual working, such 
as are, I suppose, incident to all institutions of this kind. 
Resolutions were passed occasionally that the Reference Depart- 
ment of the Library should be more carefully attended to, or, in 
other words, that in the purchase of books the Committee should 
aim at obtaining those which are too costly for private purchase, 
and those which, though not perhaps immediately popular, 
remain for all time of actual service to the student, and give 
character to a collection. The more valuable books of reference 
were not allowed to circulate, and in 1836 the room upstairs, 
which is still used as the Committee-room, was set apart (when 
not in use by the Committee) as the place where members 
might consult those works of reference which came into the 
before-mentioned category. But we find that every now and 
then complaints continued to be made — as they have continued 
to be made, at uncertain intervals, ever since — by one or other 
of the two great classes into which the members may at any 
time be divided, the readers and the students. The former 
declared that the Committee expended too great a proportion of 
the funds available for the purchase of books in buying scientific 



"A, 



1 86 



THE LIBRAE Y. 



THE LIBRA R Y. 



187 



works which the great majority of the members cared nothing 
about ; whilst the latter rejoined that far too much money was 
laid out in acquiring the lighter and more ephemeral publica- 
tions of the day. 

The simple fact is that Committees vary both in their views 
of their proper functions and in their notions about the purchase 
of books. This year the fact that a work is cheap will be a 
sufficient recommendation ; next year the same fact will ensure 
its rejection. There is always a tendency, not merely natural, 
but frequently wholesome, for the Committee to constitute itself 
censor of the morals or method of a book, rather than simply to 
consider how far it is likely to be in demand amongst the 
members. In 1842, the then Committee explicitly stated that 
their object was " rather to lead the taste of the Society, than to 
pander to a corrupt desire for trashy works." And yet the 
members of the Committee are elected annually from the 
general body of subscribers, to represent them and, presumably, 
to purchase those works for them which they wish to read. If 
this is not done, many persons leave off subscribing to the 
Society, and join "some of the numerous Book Clubs which 
have been formed in the town, and are likely to increase." 
This report of 1842 also states that "the Library is the bond 
which has held the Society together for so many years, and 
which has enabled it to struggle through so many difficulties. 
In short, every day's experience shews that it is by those 
persons who subscribe for the use of the books the institution 
is principally supported.'* 

This report is of special interest, because it shows how much 
thought was bestowed upon the purchase department, and that 
the Committee was specially anxious to give their due considera- 
tion to every class alike. As they had just added many valuable 
and expensive books, they proceeded to explain the principles 



which had guided them in their choice. The proportion of 
scientific works was large, not only from their being useful, 
and suitable in the studies of many persons resident in this 
neighbourhood of chemical manufactures, mechanical arts, and 
coal and lead mines, but also because so many works of 
intrinsic merit on those subjects had of late appeared. Several 
additions had been made in ecclesiastical history, in which the 
Library had been defective, and these remarks apply also to 
British topography. Wisely indeed did the Committee " recom- 
mend to the attention of their successors the propriety of 
setting apart a moderate yearly sum with a view to gradually 
complete the collection of County Histories, and other books of 
this class.'* Then they also point out how much is to be done 
in completing the Society's copy of the statutes at large. After 
discussing the graver works at some length, they proceed to 
speak of the great demand for the publications of the day in 
the lighter department of literature, and the difficulty of 
meeting it They account for the demand itself by remember- 
ing "that very many of the members, being engaged in 
arduous professions, will not feel inclined, after the labours of 
the day are closed, to read other than the lighter works." And 
then, as the manner of committees is, they make one or two 
vague suggestions, and leave to their successors the dealing 
with the difficulties which they have described. 

It was eleven years since the publication of the last 
catalogue, and the Committee had taken the publication of a 
new one into serious consideration, but, although some of the 
yearly supplements were out of print, many copies of the cata- 
logue itself remained on hand, and this question was also referred 
to the new Committee for further consideration. This did not 
prevent a whole page of the report being devoted to discussing 
the best mode of doing that which it was resolved not to do.. 



^-j-^i«.'v; 



I 



1 88 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



THE LIBRARY. 



189 



But the new Committee did take many of the matters 
bequeathed to it into further consideration. In the purchase 
of books they laid down three great objects to be kept in 
view — "to supply the members with the best of the lighter 
publications of the day, novels excepted ; to give them access 
to such Books of Reference as are too expensive for the 
generality of private libraries ; and gradually to form a con- 
nected chain of human knowledge, advancing as it advances, 
and giving the student, if he cannot follow out his pursuits with 
the aid of the books in the Library, from the limited time 
allowed for keeping them, the opportunity of ascertaining which 
it would be desirable he should himself procure." But they 
took up seriously "the supply of the lighter publications of 
the day." They state that "they are fully aware that the 
publications of the day are not those to which the book fund 
should be especially devoted." That there was no book fund 
was, of course, a detail. Political economy has furnished us 
with a similar non-existent wages fund, also a detail. It would 
have been useful and interesting if they had given the reason 
for their conclusion, especially as they add, " Of the 700 mem- 
bers, ladies and gentlemen together, at least one-half take out 
books of this kind — many of them works of no other descrip- 
tion, and it does not suffice that the book should be of an 
amusing character, it must also be new." Then they go 
on to show at how small an expenditure every one could be 
satisfied, and again leave it to the new Committee to take the 
question into their early consideration ! The new catalogue is 
not mentioned. 

The new Committee does not seem to have troubled them- 
selves about either matter. They turned their attention to " the 
Law Books in possession of the Society." They agreed, upon the 
suggestion of Mr. William Bainbridge (well known as a barrister 



practising in Newcastle, and the author of a learned work on 
Mines and Mining, and other books of a lighter character), that 
these books should " in future be classed and placed together 
for the more convenient access of those who may wish to 
consult them, and that the Society should invite the further 
donation of Law Books from those members and other persons 
who may be interested in establishing an useful legal Library 
for research and reference." But the only donation received 
was one of fifty volumes in folio of old Reports from Mr. John 
Adamson, then Senior Secretary. The Committee had come 
to the conclusion that there were only two sure ways of 
providing a legal Library : the first, to rescind that part of the 
rules of the Society which forbade the purchase of professional 
Law Books ; the other, and perhaps the better way, was that 
the gentlemen of the legal profession of this town should form 
themselves into a society expressly for the purpose of " establish- 
ing an useful legal Library for research and reference." This 
broad hint was not lost, and for many years the Law Society 
of Newcastle and Gateshead has been in the possession of an 
excellent and useful library of the kind suggested. 

In the following year's report the Committee are still silent 
on the purchase of books and the new catalogue, although they 
enter into the history of the Library and say that " competent 
persons, both connected with the Society and from a distance, 
have stated that so useful and well-selected a provincial Library 
is scarcely to be met with." This being the case, why not 
leave well alone? At the annual meeting, Mr. R. R. Dees 
made an unsuccessful attempt to instruct the Committee "to 
order for the Library, from time to time, such Standard Prose 
Works of Fiction as they may see fil." 

The discussion upon this motion may have wakened the 
Committee up, especially as there was a serious and continuing 



igo 



THE LIBRAE Y. 



(I 

I 



decrease in the number of members. The Librarian reported 
constant discontent arising from the great difficulty experienced 
in getting new books, and a gentleman, once a member of the 
Committee, and who was in the Library nearly every day, had 
waited sixteen months before he got the particular book which 
he wanted! The Librarian had suggested the purchase of 
several copies of the more popular works, as well of the 
magazines and reviews, disposing of a certain number after a 
time, and the Committee, " after weighing the matter, had come 
to the conclusion that something must be done," and " begged 
to recommend the subject to the serious consideration of their 
successors." After that who can say that life is short ? 

But the old nursery story of the pig which would not go 
over the bridge comes to an end when the cat would catch 
the rat, and so the story of the Committee which would not 
purchase sufficient books to satisfy the desires of the members 
reaches an appropriate conclusion when a new one is appointed 
which has the temerity to act as well as to talk about action. 
That which was elected in 1846 set to work at once to buy a 
large supply of the magazines and reviews, and of the more 
popular books, and the result was that the applications for 
membership at once began to increase. Arrangements were 
made for the systematic sale of duplicate copies. 

After this good example we are not surprised to learn that 
the Committee elected in 1847 set to work in good earnest 
upon " the formation of a new Catalogue." The last had been 
printed in 1829; there had been seventeen supplements to it, 
and the number of books in the Library had nearly doubled. 
The report presented to the Annual Meeting in 1848 states 
that the Catalogue is prepared and is about to be sent to the 
press, and that Mr. George Wailes had undertaken to see the 
work promptly and properly executed. 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



191 



This Catalogue was to be really an important undertaking. 
Many copies of the last still remained on hand, and the Com- 
mittee were anxious to get so many purchasers of the new one 
that the cost would be materially reduced. They therefore gave 
much time and thought to the best form to adopt, and they ulti- 
mately concluded to adhere to the classified form, ** such modi- 
fications only being introduced as the more advanced state of 
Science and the greater number of books seemed to demand." 
The sub-divisions would be more numerous than before, and in 
some instances the arrangement of the subjects would be slightly 
altered; and, in order to render the whole more efficient, an 
alphabetical index both of authors and subjects was to be 
added. The catalogue so formed would "be a guide to 
literature generally." But this new Mishnah would necessarily 
have its Gemara. Books would continue to be multiplied, 
and supplements would shortly be again required ; but the 
idea was to print them upon one side of the paper only, 
and so to classify the books in them that members whose 
copies of the catalogue had been properly interleaved might 
cut up each supplement when it came out and insert the 
different works in their proper places. This could not, of 
course, be done with the alphabetical index. The catalogue 
thus prepared would have many advantages ; amongst others, 
was " the facility with which it would shew both the riches and 
poverty of a library." 

The cost of printing it would come to more than £^00^ 
and the Committee hoped that, by offering it at a very low 
price, a rapid sale would be ensured. " When the last Catalogue 
was printed, after much clamour and disturbance, not half the 
impression was sold during a space of twelve years." This 
new one would form a handsome volume of a thousand pages, 
and five shillings per copy did not seem an exorbitant price. 



192 



THE LIBRAR Y, 



THE LIBRARY. 



193 



I 



Mr. Wailes was ably assisted in his labours by Mr. John 
Thornhill, so long Librarian to the Society, but the task proved 
to be a greater one than had been anticipated. They certainly 
did not shirk the work, for they included in it references to the 
more important papers in the Transactions which the Library 
contained of the various learned societies. The Committee 
had expected that the catalogue would be in the hands 
of the members about August, and it was ready by the end of 
the year. Its cost had been much less than was anticipated, for 
it apparently was completed for about ;t200. Its existence 
enabled reductions to be made in the cost of Library Assistants, 
which saved some £6$ a year, and as £y^ los. 6d. was realised 
by its sale in the first two years, and as no other catalogue has 
been printed since, the Society was not much out of pocket by 
the transaction. 

And thus, at last, the shortcomings of the Library had 
been fairly attended to, and this was wise. In the report of 
1842, which I have already made frequent allusion to, the true 
principles which should regulate the due maintenance of a 
subscription Library had been laid down, and the theory had 
actually, in seven short years, been carried into practice. 

The troubles of book-buyers or book-collectors do not, how- 
ever, end when the books have been purchased. The next 
question which demands an answer is, " Where are you going to 
put them?" The provision of sufficient room for the constantly 
and rapidly increasing stock presented a serious difficulty. 
Three thousand volumes, which no one was likely ever to ask 
for, had been placed in the room upstairs, but this proved 
a homoeopathic measure of relief. The Library remained 
obstinately overcrowded. The idea of having cross-presses 
from the pilasters, at right angles to the wall and extending 
into the room, had been seriously entertained, but to carry this 



out would make it necessary to go to the heavy expense of 
providing much more light Then another of these imperative 
questions which address themselves to all who acquire books is, 
"Having got them, how are you going to keep them?" I do 
not allude now to the minute ravages of the book-worm or the 
extensive dilapidations of the professional book-borrower, but 
rather to what the law calls " the act of God," to wit, damp, gas 
fumes, and the like. The binding of the books was suffering 
greatly from the products of the imperfect combustion of poor 
coal gas. When you took a book off the higher shelves it 
would generally act like a hermit-crab and leave its outer 
covering. These are samples of the troubles which the increase 
of the library brought with it. 

And all this time the heavy liabilities of the Society hung 
like a millstone about its neck, and the Committee was ever 
confronted with the difficulty which is perhaps a more common 
one now than when Israel was face to face with it in Egypt, 
that of having to make bricks without straw. 

But they were full of resource. They set to work at once to 
adopt a new method of ventilation which Mr. T. Gray, a 
worthy tobacconist, and well-known Newcastle character half 
a century ago, had adopted on his premises in Grey Street, and 
they also resolved to borrow instead of continuing to buy the 
lighter books. They entered therefore into an arrangement 
with Mr. Mudie by which, in consideration of a large annual 
subscription, he undertook to keep the Society supplied with 
a large number of the newest books. This arrangement, with 
modifications, and with one short break, when the London 
Library Company took Mr. Mudie's place, continued in force 
until the year 1893, when it was abandoned in favour of the 
purchase and re-sale of considerable numbers of popular works. 

In 1852 the Duke of Northumberland presented the Society 

13 



194 



THE LIBRAR Y, 



THE LIBRAR Y. 



195 



with 203 cases containing the Ordnance Maps of Ireland and a 
portion of those of England, but he expressed the wish that 
inhabitants of the county who were not members of the Society 
should have the opportunity of referring to the maps. This 
introduced rather a new state of affairs, and gave the Society a 
semi-public character, which was confirmed when, in 1856, the 
Government presented to the Corporation of Newcastle a set of 
the Specifications of Patents from the establishment of the 
Patent Office in James I.*s reign, and undertook to keep them 
up regularly, upon condition that a convenient place should be 
provided for them, and that they should be open to public 
inspection without charge. The Society, with its wonted 
liberality, gave them house-room, the Corporation paying for 
the needful shelving and for binding the volumes, and 
this arrangement continued to the year 1882, when they were 
all removed to the new Public Library. Several prominent 
members of our Society took an active part in the agitation 
which led to the adoption by Newcastle of the Public Libraries 
Acts. 

The reduction of the annual subscription in 1856 was 
followed by a great increase in the number of members, and 
a corresponding increase in the demand for and the circulation 
of books. The Committee resolved to prepare and publish a 
Supplement to the Catalogue, and it made its appearance in 
some two years' time. The Catalogue itself was still in demand, 
and the new members no doubt accounted for this to a con- 
siderable extent. It is interesting to note that they joined with 
the intention of making regular use of the library, for whilst the 
number of subscribers doubled, the circulation of books increased 
threefold, and, at the same time, the complaints of difficulty in 
obtaining books were greatly fewer. The arrangements with 
Mudie had for the time fairly met the requirements. 



But the Committee found much dif!iculty in persuading 
the new members that the laws as to the circulation of books 
should be obeyed, and they had even to threaten offenders with 
expulsion from the Society. And they were greatly troubled 
by the carrying away of new books without having them duly 
entered by the Librarian, for this usually meant that they were 
never returned. The theft of books has been slight, but it was 
almost constant until the porter caught a gentleman, who was 
not even a member, making his way down the back staircase 
with seven volumes under his arms and in his pockets. He was 
brought before the magistrates, and that worthy specimen of 
rough North-country common sense, Alderman Ralph Dodds, 
was on the seat of justice. The evidence having been given, 
" Well, what have you to say for yourself? " shouted the Alder- 
man. " I thought it was a Free Library, your worship." This 
was more than the aldermanic temper could stand, and there 
followed a roar of " A Free Library ! a Free Library ! I'll larn 
ye what's a Free Library! Six months: six months: a Free 
Library ! " After this books ceased to be conveyed. 

The "accumulated literary treasures of the Society" had 
quite outgrown all the provision which had been made for them 
long before the year i860, when a determined effort was made 
to grapple with the difficulty. The book-shelves of the gallery 
were extended to the recesses underneath the windows and to 
every available space there, and nine double book-cases were 
placed transversely on each side of the library floor, six writing- 
tables being arranged in the recesses formed by these book- 
cases. But in ten years' time the old difficulty had again made 
itself felt, and in 1870 an agreement was come to with the 
new Mining Institute by which a communication was made 
between the two buildings. Most of the Society's scientific 
books were removed to the Wood Memorial Hall, and the 



196 



THE LIBRAR W 



'I 



entire stores of the two societies were thrown open to the 
members of each aHke, but for purposes of reference only. 
This at once reheved the Society from the difficulty of finding 



storage room. 



In 1868 another Supplement to the Catalogue was prepared 
and printed. It included the ten years' additions since the 
Supplement of 1858. It was resolved that the annual pur- 
chases were also to be regularly printed in future and circulated 
with the report of the Committee. 

And then, in 1885, a step was taken which has added 
greatly to the permanent comfort and usefulness of the Institu- 
tion. The North Eastern Railway Company served notice on 
the Society that they proposed to take away its yard under 
parliamentary powers. Fortunately, one of the Secretaries was 
interested in certain land which the Company had already 
acquired to the south of the Society's building, and, as 
before mentioned, he suggested to the Company's Chief 
Engineer that the Company should give to the Society 
as much land to the south as it took from it on the west, 
and should pay it in cash such a sum as would enable the 
Society to increase its building by adding a fresh wing at 
right angles to the existing premises. Ultimately this plan was 
fully carried out, the Company paying ;^5500, Lord Armstrong, 
with his wonted liberality, giving i^/oo, and the members 
generally subscribing £7^0. The fresh book-space which the 
Society has thus obtained will put it beyond difficulty on that 
score for many a long year to come. 

" In contemplation of the extension and re-arrangement of 
the Library consequent upon the increased accommodation," 
arrangements were made for a fresh catalogue of the books, and 
the report of 1888 stated that the work was well advanced, and 
thanked " those ladies and gentlemen who, under the able and 




u. 



\1^ 

o 



u 
^ 



o 

H 
A 



196 



THE LIBRARY, 



entire stores of the two societies were thrown open to the 
members of each alike, but for purposes of reference only. 
This at once relieved the Society from the difficulty of finding 



storage room. 



In 1868 another Supplement to the Catalogue was prepared 
and printed. It included the ten years' additions since the 
Supplement of 1858. It was resolved that the annual pur- 
chases were also to be regularly printed in future and circulated 
with the report of the Committee. 

And then, in 1885, a step was taken which has added 
greatly to the permanent comfort and usefulness of the Institu- 
tion. The North Eastern Railway Company served notice on 
the Society that they proposed to take away its yard under 
parliamentary powers. Fortunately, one of the Secretaries was 
interested in certain land which the Company had already 
acquired to the south of the Society's building, and, as 
before mentioned, he suggested to the Company's Chief 
Engineer that the Company should give to the Society 
as much land to the south as it took from it on the west, 
and should pay it in cash such a sum as would enable the 
Society to increase its building by adding a fresh wing at 
right angles to the existing premises. Ultimately this plan was 
fully carried out, the Company paying ;^5500, Lord Armstrong, 
with his wonted liberality, giving ;^700, and the members 
generally subscribing £7^0. The fresh book-space which the 
Society has thus obtained will put it beyond difficulty on that 
score for many a long year to come. 

" In contemplation of the extension and re-arrangement of 
the Library consequent upon the increased accommodation," 
arrangements were made for a fresh catalogue of the books, and 
the report of 1888 stated that the work was well advanced, and 
thanked " those ladies and gentlemen who, under the able and 



I 




Pi 






z 

X 
H 

o 

X 

o 

2 



r T 



THE LIBRARY, 



197 



\ 



enlightened guidance of Mr. Frederick Emley, have devoted 
much valuable time and attention to this task." To Mr. Emley 
I am indebted for the following account of the new Catalogue. 
It was still in course of preparation when, in February 1893, 
there came the great catastrophe by which we lost the greater 
part of our books, and in the heavy task of replacing them, which 
I shall have to speak of in greater detail in my concluding 
chapter, the value of the new Catalogue, which fortunately 
escaped the flames, could scarcely be over-stated. 

" In the catalogue of 1848 and the two supplements pub- 
lished in 1858 and 1868, the books were grouped in eighteen 
classes, with numerous sub-divisions, and with an alphabetical 
index to subjects and authors. 

"From 1868 to 1888, lists of the additions, in alphabetical 
order, were published annually, but in 1888 even these lists 
were discontinued. 

"The old catalogue had thus fallen twenty years in arrear, 
and, admirable as it was in its day, it had become quite 
inadequate to the expansion of the field of knowledge, more 
especially in natural science, and moreover, the increased 
attention given to the subject of cataloguing consequent on the 
growth of the Free Libraries here and in the United States, had 
resulted in the introduction of new and better systems. 

" But strongly as the necessity for a revision of the Catalogue 
was felt by individual members, no action was taken until 
when Mr. B. J. Snell obtained the appointment of a sub- 
committee to consider the subject. The writer is not aware 
that anything was done by this sub-committee, owing perhaps 
to Mr. Snell's quitting Newcastle shortly afterwards. 

"In 1887 the Sub-committee was reappointed. Mr. J. J. 
Butcher and the writer, its new members, met several times to 
talk over the subject, and soon came to the conclusion that 



1 1 



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198 



THE LIBRAR V. 



nothing could be done without an examination of the various 
systems of cataloguing in use. 

" The engagements of Mr. Butcher and his departure from 
Newcastle threw the whole of this work upon the writer, who 
examined, as well as he was able, the British Museum system 
and the principal systems in use in the United States. 

"In this work he was greatly helped by the Library Joumaly 
the organ of the American Librarians* Association, and by the 
States Government report on Public Libraries in that country, 
1876. The result of this preliminary examination, and it may 
be admitted of an attempt to construct a scheme, was to con- 
vince the writer that the best system for the Society's use was 
Mr. Melvil Dewey's 'Decimal Classification.* 

"The main feature of Mr. Dewey's scheme is the division 
of the field of knowledge into ten classes, named and numbered 
as follows : — 

"o General Works. 

1 Philosophy. 

2 Religion. 

3 Sociology. 

4 Philology. 

5 Natural Science. 

6 Useful Arts. 

7 Fine Arts. 

8 Literature. 

9 History. 

"Each class is divided into ten divisions, and each division 
in ten sections. Thus Mathematics is numbered 51, as the first 
division of Class 5, Natural Science; and similarly, 511 denotes 
Arithmetic as the first section of Mathematics. 

" Sub-division can thus be carried as far as may be required. 



THE LIBRARY, 



199 



"The class, division, and section-titles, together with their 
synonyms or alternate titles and relative numbers, are arranged 
in one simple alphabet, which thus affords a reference quick, 
short, and clear to every part of the scheme. 

" The system is complete to date, and is capable of unlimited 
expansion. While it offers special advantages to the student 
who will take the trouble to master it, the ordinary reader can, 
through the indexes, use it without preliminary study. 

"In addition to the printed subject index there is an 
alphabetical index on cards to every author represented in the 

library. 

"After the name-card come the title-cards to the author's 
works, each work being on a separate card, which gives the 
number of the section in which the work is classed and the 
number of the work in that section. 

" Societies publishing transactions are treated as authors. 

"Titles of well-known series, e.g., *Bampton Lectures,' 
' Badminton Series,* are also specially indexed. 

" Thus the reader in search of a work, or of the works of a 
known author, or of the transactions or proceedings of any 
society, or of any series bearing a distinctive title, will at once 
find the object of his search entered in the Alphabetical Author 

Index. 

" And any subject index study will be found entered in the 

Alphabetical Subject Index. 

" In each case the number on the card will enable the reader 
to refer easily and quickly to the shelves. 

"Anonymous works will be entered in the Author Index, 
and, to facilitate search, a separate list of them will probably be 
made. 

"Mr. Dewey's scheme was recommended by the Sub- 
committee to the Committee and adopted in 1887. 



ll 



I ' 



200 



THE LIBRAE V. 



" The first step taken was the making of a card catalogue, 
which should ultimately form the copy for the printed catalogue. 
With the help of a number of members, both ladies and gentle- 
men, the old printed catalogue was cut into single titles and 
mounted on cards, but, owing to the defective nature of the 
cataloguing, this part of the work proved of little value. 

"The next step was the engagement of four young ladies, 
who proceeded to re-catalogue the Library, and at the same 
time to classify the books approximately on Mr. Dewey's 
system. 

" This cataloguing and classification were carried out under 
the superintendence of the Librarian, assisted by Professor 
Merivale, who, on the 14th July, 1891, delivered a lecture to the 
members on the new system. 

"In June 1891 the work had progressed so far that the whole 
of the Library could be re-arranged on the shelves according 
to the Dewey class numbers, and the catalogue cards were 
thrown into order in two sets, the one set in the order of the 
books on the shelves, and the other in author alphabet order, the 
cards having been made in duplicate for the purpose. More- 
over, cross reference cards had been made out to the extent of 
not less than 50,000. The Dewey system comprises a subject 
index of 20,000 headings, providing for subjects from the most 
general to the most highly specific, and a close classification 
necessitated the reference to some works under many headings. 
One book received 3000 such references. The completion of 
this enormous amount of cross reference work had to be deferred ; 
but in the meantime a rough revision of the class numbers of 
the books was being hurried through, when the fire occurred and 
threw the work into confusion. 

" After the fire it was found necessary to pass three-fourths of 
the Library through the bookbinders' hands for rebinding or 



Ul 



THE LIBRARY. 



201 



repairs, and over three years was taken to finish them. As soon 
as they were practically all returned (September 1896), the 
Committee decided to go on with the catalogue work, and push 
it through to completion as quickly as possible, and appointed a 
special staff to do the work. They have been at work about 
three months at the time this is being written. Mr. Peddie, 
who is specially qualified for the work, is revising the classifica- 
tion of both the book cards and cross reference cards, while the 
others of the staff re-write and re-assort as directed. Besides the 
catalogue cards, catalogue slips are being type-written, five copies 
for each main title and four copies for each cross reference, to 
form two complete sets arranged in subject order, and two in 
author order, while the fifth main title set will form a shelf list 
for the purposes of stocktaking. 

" The slips are to be put in loose binders, and will receive 
further insertions as new books are purchased, thus being kept 
constantly up to date. 

" In addition to these slips, one is also being made for each 
portrait, and one for each locally printed book or pamphlet. 

" Local works are being arranged in a parallel Library, having 
a letter to signify the place, e.g-, N = 742*82 Northumberland; 
and if not history or topography it is followed by the Dewey 
class number, as N580 Flora of Northumberland. A parallel 
Library is also being formed of large books that will not go in 
the ordinary fixed shelves. These will be arranged around the 
main wall of the main library and will run in the Dewey order, 
the same as the 8vo works." 

When it is completed the Society will assuredly have a noble 
catalogue, but it will have been obtained by a heavy expenditure 
of time and money. 



li 



li ' 



11 



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! 



i<° 




CHAPTER IX. 

ZECTC/J^ES. 

jT the present time the good folk who inhabit Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne are a much-lectured people. During the 
winter months, which in our latitude may be held 
to extend from September to April, we have probably no 
night, Sunday or workday, upon which the seeker after knowledge 
may not have his desire gratified, and, upon most of them, he 
may even select the means of gratification most suited to his 
taste. And, in saying this, I take no account of regular 
systematic courses of lectures wholly educational in their 
nature, or of those, also possibly educational, which are of a yet 
more private character being indeed specially adapted for and 
only intended to reach the ear of the one person actually 
addressed. This plethora of intellectual wealth is of quite 
recent growth, and it has developed with startling rapidity since, 
owing to the Education Act of 1870, boys and girls generally 
became the possessors of that dynamitic force, "a little 
knowledge." 

But there was nothing of the kind here or elsewhere in 1793. 
I do not mean to say that lectures and courses of lectures were 
not delivered in some unknown places on earth. All things are 
possible even if you do not believe. But, unless in University 



LECTURES. 



203 



towns, they were few and far between, and for any practical 
purpose there was no such thing as the popular lecture. For 
centuries much of the teaching at Universities had been done 
by lecturing. It has been surmised that the frequent dis- 
cussions of the Academies of the Renaissance sometimes gave 
place to discourses or addresses. No doubt the step from the 
learned circle to the unlearned multitude outside was only a 
short one, but it was one of peculiar difficulty, one in fact which 
Mrs. Grundy would not be quick to tolerate, and which would, 
at first, be taken secretly, accidentally, or only by bold men. 

I cannot say certainly who was the first person who gave 
popular lectures in Newcastle, but the earliest record of anything 
of the kind which I have found is a series of lectures upon 
the Nature and Properties of Water, given in 1770 by Dr. 
Rotherham, a physician in large practice, in "Parker's Long 
Room, Bigg Market*' They seem to have been illustrated by 
experiments, and were apparently dictated by the insufficiency 
of the existing water-supply, and with the object of assisting 
the Corporation, who were then considering which of the springs 
or streams in this vicinity was the best adapted for public use. 

Then in "the Reports, Papers, Catalogues, etc., of the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
collected by Anthony Hedley," and presented by Miss 
Hedley to the Society, it appears that one of the original 
honorary members, Henry Moyes, M.D., Ac. Americ. Soc, etc., 
issued a syllabus of nineteen lectures on the Philosophy of 
Natural History, "to be illustrated and confirmed by experi- 
ments where the subjects may require them," and that the 
first lecture was to be delivered in the Assembly Rooms at 
12 o'clock on the i8th inst, whenever that might be. The 
only clue to any date is upon the portrait which accompanies 
the syllabus. It shows a benevolent-looking elderly gentleman, 



'.\ 



i 



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204 



LECTURES, 



with a white wig and dark-blue spectacles, wearing a rich velvet 
coat and elaborately frilled shirt, and standing in a kind of 
pulpit, with a lighted candle on his right hand, and four phials 
and (apparently) a bottle of Hollands on his left hand. There 
is pathos in the dark spectacles when you have learned that the 
lecturer was blind. The portrait bears the date 1796. As 
lectures were a rare commodity in those days, they were 
correspondingly dear. 

"Admittance of Gentlemen to the whole Course, One Guinea each. 
„ of Ladies, Half a Guinea. 

„ to a single Lecture, Two Shillings." 

I need not say much about the syllabus. It was wide in 
scope. The first lecture was "On the Formation, Antiquity, 
and Present State of the Terraqueous Globe," and the first item 
in it was " A general view of the Structure of the Universe." 
The subjects of the different lectures were very numerous and 
agreeably varied: "the never-ceasing frost in the superior 
regions of the atmosphere," "the whispering gallery in St. 
Paul's Cathedral," "electrical fishes," "the Draco Volans," 
" Warm and Tepid Baths— their theory and effects," " directions 
relating to Cold Water bathing," " the Cold Bath and its effects 
on the system," and last of all, " the associating principle, and 
the influence of Society on the Human Mind." 

But I have not been able to ascertain whether this course of 
lectures was given in connection with this Society, or, indeed, 
whether it was ever given at all. The first lectures which were 
given in this connection were a course upon "Comparative 
Anatomy," by Mr. Wilkinson, who was a surgeon at Sunderland. 
The resolution to lend the room for this purpose was come to 
by the Committee on the i6th January, 1798, and is so brief and 
general as almost to induce the belief that it was quite a usual 




LECTURES. 

and customary thing, and that the terms upon which the use of 
the room was allowed were well known. There is no certain 
mention of these lectures anywhere else in the Society's papers. 

A much stranger and more interesting lecturing announce- 
ment appears amongst those papers in September of that 
same year. " Dr. Katter-felto, M.D., Professor and Teacher of 
Natural Experimental Philosophy, Astronomy, Natural History, 
and other Occult Sciences," the poet Cowper's 

" Katterfelto with his hair on end 
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread," 

was, for a whole week, "to deliver his various useful Philosophical 
lectures in this town," and " at the Philosophical Society's Room 
in St. Nicholas Church Yard." The bill which makes this 
announcement states that he "has been travelling these 34 
years past through most parts of Europe, and has lectured in 
London for many years, with great applause, where he has been 
honoured with some of the Royal Family." But that those 
who are really interested in these matters, and who wish to 
know exactly the kind of scientific pabulum afforded to our 
citizens ninety-six years ago, may have the whole matter before 
them, I reproduce here the bill itself, as nearly as the circum- 
stances of the case will allow. But it is only right that I should 
clearly explain that, although these lectures were given in this 
Society's rooms, they were in no sense lectures of the Society. 
Dr. Katterfelto took the rooms for the purpose. It was just at 
the time that the Society was removing to the Old Assembly 
Rooms, and probably the books and furniture had already been 
taken away. The very learned and astute lecturer was the very 
man to seize eagerly upon such a splendid opportunity to 
surround his caravan with a philosophical halo. 

This announcement is indeed passing strange. There are 



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200 



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and business and most empirical science arc blcndcci \\\ iiuiicioii , 



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proportions. How delightful it would iai\c i)^ 
of those early evenin^^ lectures! Ilnw cnn. taut tlv? u-.- < ,[ 
lancets must then have been to penait t!u ir introduction in 
a popular lecture, for now many persons scarce^- [aa \ <.f their 
existence! How charming to be a Freemason, and thus liable 
to be surprised (although the reason is scarcely so clear as it 
might be) by a Magnetical Clock ! And what would not the 
Watch Committee of to-day be prepared to give for the " Model 
of a House whereby he (the lecturer) explains how a thief may 
be catched or killed when robbing a house " ! 

But, apparently, this course of lectures, amazing as it was, 
did not satisfy the inquiring public of Newcastle. Perhaps 

" increase of appetite did grow 
By what it fed on," 

and, like Oliver Twist, they asked for more. Perhaps the Com- 
mittee felt bound, as their rooms had been used by so extra- 
ordinary a person, to give the people of the good old town the 
chance of seeing what an ordinary scientific man was like. At 
all events, in December of that same year, 1798, the indefati- 
gable Mr. Turner read "Some observations on the propriety 
of attempting the introduction of Courses of Lectures on 
subjects connected with the happiness of mankind as members 
of Society," and it was resolved "that the Secretaries be 
directed to write to Dr. Garnett, Professor of Natural Philosophy 
and Chemistry in Anderson's Institution, Glasgow, inviting him 
to deliver Lectures in this town on these important subjects 
during the course of the ensuing summer." 

The Scotch Universities take their Long Vacation from April 
to October, this practice having probably originated from the 



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LECTURES. 



207 



necessity which many students were under of devoting the summer 
months to agricultural avocations. True that Anderson's Institu- 
tion was not a University, but the greater includes the less, and 
in all probability there was some kind of concurrence between it 
and the greater body in the date and duration of the vacations. 
No doubt it was the fact of Dr. Garnett having more leisure 
in the summer, and not the idea that the light and bright days 
are best adapted for indoor pastimes, which led to the request 
for lectures at that special season. Arrangements were duly 
made that he should deliver three distinct courses of a less 
exciting but more purely educational character than those of 
"Dr. Katterfelto, M.D.," in July, August, and September, 1799. 
They were to be — 

I. A Course of not less than Fifteen Lectures on the principal 

subjects relating to Mechanics, Hydro-statics, Optics, 
Astronomy, Magnetism, and Electricity. Transferable 
Tickets, each admitting a Lady and a Gentleman, at 
One Guinea. 

II. A Course of not less than Thirty Lectures on Chemistry, 

and its Application to Arts, Manufactures, and Agriculture. 
Tickets as before at Two Guineas. 



11 



LVJ^LT-fW* L . 7^f 



III. If desired, a Course of Lectures on Botany. 

But none of these lectures were delivered. When the 
arrangements were well forward, Dr. Garnett was prevented 
from coming by a severe domestic affliction, and shortly after- 
wards he received an appointment at the Royal Institution, 
which had just been opened in London, and his consequent 
removal from Glasgow "prevented the execution of this most 
desirable project." 



*.' 



'II 



I: 



208 



LECTURES, 



Jn the Annual Report presented in 1802 mention is made 
of " the numerous and punctual attendance lately given to the 
Lectures we have heard on that interesting Science, Chemistry," 
and the hope is held out of " a course of systematical Lectures'" 
upon the Society's already famous mineralogical collection. I 
have not yet been able to find anything further about the chemical 
lectures referred to. *'An address to the Public, from the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne," 
published on June 2nd, 1802, speaks in a note of " the judicious 
and accurate lectures delivered by the late Dr. Rotherham on 
several branches of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, 
(which) greatly contributed to excite a taste for these 
important investigations among his fellow-townsmen and 
neighbours." Dr. Rotherham died in 1787. 

There is sufficient to show us that Newcastle was one of the 
first places to feel the stirrings of that new spirit of patient 
inquiry and investigation which was to revolutionise the whole 
scheme of education, and to produce results upon actual life 
which have made this nineteenth century, for good or ill, unique 
amongst the centuries of the world's life. 

It seems quite an appropriate proceeding that, on the 4th 
May, 1802, Mr. Thomas Bigge, one of the Society's Vice-Pre- 
sidents, should read a paper " On the expediency of establishing, 
m Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a Lectureship on subjects of Natural 
and Experimental Philosophy, etc." In it he pleads for regular 
experimental courses of scientific lectures, and points out that 
" the town of Newcastle is singularly fitted to become the seat 
of a Philosophical Institution." He goes on to say :— 

" We are placed here at a considerable distance from any 
part of the kingdom where Experimental Philosophy is 
systematically taught. The Scotch Universities are least 
remote : yet to them it is evidently impossible for a great 



LECTURES, 



209 



majority of those persons to resort, who wish to acquire a 
knowledge of the sciences most applicable to the various 
concerns of life. When we consider the expence of long 
journies, and of a residence at these places, and the incon- 
venience of absence to persons who have a daily employment, 
it will appear that the miner, the mechanic, the manufacturer, 
and the agriculturist, can rarely hope to participate in the 
advantages of experimental science, unless they reside in the 
neighbourhood of a Philosophical Establishment." 

There is deep interest in the fact that, so long ago, Mr. Bigge 
contemplated scientific education in which working men should 
receive a share of benefit. This was really advanced and 
prophetic. 

Mr. Bigge speaks of the Grammar School and its excellence 
under "the late revered Master"— the Rev. Hugh Moises,— and 
says, "the more frequent union of classical education with 
elementary science is extremely to be wished." This was in 
1802, and in 1891 the Grammar School at length got a chemical 
laboratory. 

Then he turns to the medical profession, and trusts that 
"the late important addition to the Infirmary" may lead to 
" lectures on anatomy, on the principles and practice of surgery, 
and on the science of pharmacy." He thinks that medical 
students would avail themselves " of lectures in chemistry and 
other branches of natural philosophy when they see their elders 
acknowledging, by a frequent attendance, the importance of 
such instruction." But he carefully disclaimed the idea that 
Newcastle could or should become a school of medicine which 
ought in any instance to supersede the Medical Universities. 

And when we boast ourselves of the strides which we have 
taken since the century, whose end we approach so nearly, 
began, it is well for us to listen to such words as these :— " The 

14 



I 



I 



< • 



r 



2IO 



LECTURES, 



peculiar district we inhabit affords the strongest argument in 
favour of the proposed institution. There are few countries 
more interesting to a philosophical eye, and none more indebted 
to the discoveries of science. Bountiful as Nature has been to 
us, her gifts would be offered in vain were it not for the aid of 
the experimentalist. Without mechanics and chemistry, how 
wretched would be our manufactures, and how worthless the 
amount of our mineral possessions ! Exactly in proportion to 
the state of these sciences is the condition of the one and the 
value of the other. So great has been the progress of experi- 
mental philosophy, so astonishingly successful its application 
to our principal manufactures, that superficial observers may 
think enough has been done for all useful purposes, or that 
nothing of importance can hereafter be effected. This ignorant 
surmise is the reverse of truth ; for no proposition more clearly 
results from the progress of discovery than this, that immense 
desiderata remain to be supplied, and that, with all our rich 
acquirements, we are still in the infancy of science. Could we 
compare the state of this district a century ago, or at different 
later periods, with what it is at present,— could we trace out the 
authors of every particular improvement, the local importance 
of philosophical studies would be distinctly exemplified. We 
should, moreover, at one view, be convinced that, whatever great 
inventions were bequeathed to us by our ancestors, the know- 
ledge they left was at no period more widely extended, or more 
variously applied ; and that the latest era of science has wit- 
nessed some of the most valuable discoveries. What then is 
the obvious inference from this fact? Undoubtedly, that the 
more is already known, if proper means be taken for its 
diffusion, the more rapid will be the advancement of knowledge; 
and that in proportion to the numbers of ingenious enterprising 
men enlisted in these pursuits, and to the encouragement held 



LECTURES. 



211 



out by the opulent and great, will be the success of future 
efforts to perfect what has been left incomplete." 

I give this extract verbatim because it is important that we 
should clearly understand that the primary idea in attaching 
courses of lectures to this Society was that of educational 
courses. There was no thought of elegant discourses which 
should enable the dilettanti to amuse an idle hour, no thought 
of listening to the author's reading of a magazine or review 
article, no thought of imparting curious information to curious 
men and women. Education was the root idea of the scheme 
from the very first. 

^ Mr. Bigge went on to point out the great value of systematic 
scientific training to the younger mining pupils; warned his 
hearers against expecting too much from this or any other plan ; 
pointed out that the details would require the most careful 
consideration, and that considerable expense must be incurred 
in providing "a lecture-room, a laboratory, philosophical 
apparatus, models of machinery, mineralogical collections," and 
that this could not be met by annual subscriptions alone ; and 
again warned his hearers against aiming at too much at the 
outset The conclusion of his admirable paper has so curious 
an historical interest that I am tempted to give it in full. He 
says : — 

"There is, however, one remaining topic upon which it is 
impossible to be silent— the restoration of Peace ; an event which 
opens to us not less delightful prospects as lovers of science, 
than as friends of humanity. The diminution of taxes and 
public burdens, we may hope, will enable us to experience 
a liberality of patronage we could not otherwise have expected. 
Reconciled to a great nation after a long suspension of inter- 
course, we are about to begin a competition with her of a most 
liberal kind, in which our interests and our honour are intimately 



: 



212 



LECTURES. 



LECTURES. 



213 



concerned. May that competition be prosperous and lasting ! 
A rivalship in arts and sciences, in everything that can improve 
or adorn life, with a people long celebrated for ingenuity in these 
pursuits, and deriving from their government every practicable 
assistance, ought to animate us to correspondent exertions, did 
we, putting interest out of the case, only consider the contest as 
involving national character. Our own government has not 
been deficient in attention to science. The late foundation in 
Albemarle-street, on a scale so magnificent and extensive, 
is a noble instance of the spirit of the times, and augurs well to 
our best interests. But the Royal Institution of England, like 
the National Institute of the Republic, is in one respect limited 
in its operation. All cannot frequent, for demonstration, the 
metropolis of their respective countries. Provincial establish- 
ments are therefore evidently necessary. That associations for 
this purpose will be formed in both countries, there can be little 
doubt The glory will belong to that community which forms 
them first" 

The Peace of Amiens was signed on the 27th March, 1802. 
England declared war against France on the 1 8th May, 1 803. 

After hearing Mr. Bigge's paper, the Society resolved "That 
the object stated by Mr. Bigge appears to this meeting of great 
importance to the interests of society at large, and of this district 
in particular," and an open Committee was formed to meet 
weekly for the consideration of the matter, and to report to the 
next general meeting. The paper was printed for general 
circulation. 

In June this Committee's report was presented. Its chief 
suggestion was " the establishment of a permanent Lectureship 
in the several branches of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, 
Chemistry, etc.," the expenses being raised partly by donations 
and annual subscriptions, and partly by the appropriation of a 



portion of the Society's funds. The report also suggested that 
the Rev. Wm. Turner should be chosen Lecturer, and Mr. 
Bigge produced the draft of an address to the public, which was 
read and adopted. It was a short epitome of his paper, and set 
forth some of the reasons which had induced the Society to pass 
the resolutions which were duly appended. 

Much interest was aroused by the scheme. "At the July 
meeting it was announced that his Grace the Duke of North- 
umberland had been pleased to accept the Patronage of the New 
Institution, and had made a donation of £200 to be applied 
towards the purchase of an Apparatus; and besides proposed an 
annual subscription. A report was also made that the Right 
Rev. the Lord Bishop of Durham had made a donation of 
£100!' It is interesting to preserve the exact words of such an 
announcement, for they serve to show us how far we have 
travelled since those old courtly days when a peer was placed upon 
a special platform, and even learned societies sought for noble 
patrons. In November, Mr. Turner read "a general Intro- 
ductory Discourse on the objects, advantages, and intended plan 
of the New Institution for Public Lectures on Natural Philosophy 
in Newcastle-upon-Tyne." It was twice delivered on the same 
day, and was afterwards printed by the direction of the Com- 
mittee. 

The objects which he laid down were threefold : — 

First — To provide for the competent instruction, in the various 
branches of Natural Philosophy, of those young persons 
who, from distance, commercial engagements, or other 
causes, have no opportunity of enjoying the advantages of 
academical education. 

Secondly, — To furnish useful preparatory information to those 
who are afterwards to pursue their studies in a more 
regular and scientific way. 



*i' 



214 



LECTURES, 



Thirdly.— 'To supply an agreeable and instructive source of 
entertainment to persons of all ages and of each sex ; and 
particularly to enable those who have made them the 
subjects of their youthful studies to renew their acquaint- 
ance with them in their present improved state. 

Having taken this step, the lecturer proceeded to enlarge 
upon each head in a somewhat ponderous way. At times, 
indeed, he is not quite so clear as We might wish. Speaking of 
the need of means of systematic instruction in every great 
commercial centre, for example, he says that such centre 
" either is itself the seat of various arts and manufactures, that 
require a knowledge of Chemistry in their processes, and of the 
several branches of Mechanical Philosophy, in order to the 
successful management of the requisite machinery ; or, if either 
with or without these, it be the maritime outlet of an extensive 
inland district, requires, moreover, the united application of a 
great variety of sciences and arts, in order to the construction 
of that most curious and complicated machine, by means of 
which the productions of the district are dispersed throughout 
the earth, and raw materials are brought back from every region 
to give fresh exercise to the inventive faculties of our ingenious 
mechanics." 

You feel inclined to turn back to Dr. Katterfelto's bill to see 
whether the " most curious and complicated machine " was one 
of his invention. 

After mentioning the lectures of Professor Parish on the 
application of Philosophy to the arts attended with avidity " by 
the youth of every rank who resort to the University of Cam- 
bridge," and the lectures on Trades and Arts " now forming at 
Hull under the auspices of an ingenious Honorary Member of 
this Society," Mr. Turner said a few words about several 
sciences and their connection with local industries. He 



LECTURES. 



215 



specially mentioned the smelting furnaces lately erected on a 
large scale for the ores of the Yorkshire coast ; " and that the 
iron-stone itself, which was not formerly considered as a native 
mineral of this district, has lately been found in a continued 
stratum by an ingenious member of this Society." He also 
alluded to "our Glass-works, the most ancient of our manu- 
facturing establishments, and the first of this kind introduced 
into this kingdom." Electricity and magnetism, which have 
become of such vast importance in the last decade, he dismisses 
in a few words. " Electricity," he says, " exhibits many striking 
phenomena, and illustrates many important operations of nature; 
and is also capable of useful application in the preservation 
of ships and houses. Magnetism is of great use in Land and 
Mineral Surveying, and absolutely essential to Navigation." 

Glancing at "the excellent fruits of the instruction" given 
at the Grammar School, " conspicuous to the whole world in the 
character and talents of those of our townsmen who now fill, 
with such distinction, some of the most important offices of the 
State," he passed on to speak of the moral advantages of the 
scheme, the danger of leisure hours not properly employed, and 
he disputed the common objection that " Science and Business 
are incompatible, and that a youth who devotes his time to 
study is unfit for a commercial life." Finally, he explained the 
plan of the proposed lectures in much detail, and gave directions 
as to the course of reading desirable for those who wished to 
profit by their attendance. 

The Committee were speedily at work collecting apparatus 
for the purpose of illustrating the different courses of lectures 
with appropriate experiments, and they raised and expended 
in perfecting the apparatus nearly a thousand pounds within a 
few years. The first purchase which they made was that of the 
Philosophical Apparatus belonging to Dr. Garnett of the Royal 



■i 




2l6 



LECTURES. 



Institution. He had died shortly before this time, and the 
price paid to his representatives was £/^$$ us. pd. 

The Apparatus Room, which many of us remember well, 
always had the effect of being as full of curious and interesting 
things as could be reasonably expected. It was a place of 
much resort, and the apparatus was in constant use. The room 
itself had to disappear when the present Lecture Room was 
built, and most of the apparatus disappeared sympathetically 
about the same time. It is possible (I have been told) even 
yet to discover some fragments in those gloomy cellars of the 
Society in which so many things of priceless worth have 
perished, and one or two valuable items are doing good service 
at the College of Science. The Society is no longer the proud 
possessor of any part of that which our forefathers spoke of as 
" an apparatus." 

The first course which Mr. Turner gave was of twenty-one 
lectures, and the subjects which he chose were "Mechanics, 
Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics." The syllabus was printed and 
illustrated, and it extended to eighteen pages. The charge for 
the course was a guinea to ordinary members, but they were 
permitted to transfer their tickets to any lady or young gentle- 
man under age, being a member of their own family. Non- 
members had to pay two guineas, but their tickets were freely 
transferable in any direction. Ladies were only charged half-a- 
guinea, and young persons under eighteen a guinea. Members 
who chose to pay ten guineas, or non-members who chose to 
pay twenty guineas, became entitled to tickets admitting to all 
courses in perpetuity. The cost of admission to a single lecture 
was three shillings. 

It was no sinecure the post of lecturer to this Society. The 
demands which were made upon him at first seem to us rather 
unreasonable. He had to hold forth thrice a week, on Mondays, 



LECTURES, 



217 



Tuesdays, and Fridays, and twice upon each of those days. 
The early lecture was given at eleven in the forenoon to suit the 
convenience of country members, and it was repeated for the 
inhabitants of the town at eight o'clock in the evening. A 
somewhat similar arrangement obtains, I am told, at the present 
time with reference to pantomimes. The first course opened on 
4th April, 1 803, and it was " countenanced " throughout by " a 
numerous and respectable audience," which afforded " a favour- 
able ground of hope of a continuance of the public encourage- 
ment." The need of a new lecture-room made itself felt at 
once, but it could not at once be satisfied. Indeed, for a 
number of years the lectures were habitually looked upon as 
being carried on by an organisation distinct and separate from 
the Society proper, and this is shown clearly by the following 
paragraph, which was sent out by the Committee as a companion 
to the advertisement of the second course in the spring of 

1804: — 

*^ Newcastle, March 17. 
"The facility afforded to an early proficiency in science, by its 
elements being presented to the youthful mind, accompanied by experi- 
ments that arrest the attention by mingling amusement with instruction, 
is a reflection excited by the second course of Lectures announced by 
the New Institution (see advertisement), and which, however obvious, 
is not less important. The approbation that has hitherto attended the 
measures adopted to establish in this town a permanent and stationary 
course of instruction in various branches of science, renders general 
panegyric superfluous ; but indifferent or rather adverse as its promoters 
probably are to its aid, we must be pardoned if, deeply impressed with 
this particular view of the subject, we desire earnestly to call the 
attention of the parents of youth to the important advantages they will 
derive from making that an ordinary and stated branch of the education 
of their offspring, which they were wont to seek by an expensive 
residence in a distant capital, or refer to the precarious arrival of 
occasional lecturers." 



ii 



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i 



2l8 



LECTURES. 



There is much to amuse the casual reader in such a passage 
as this. It sets forth very plainly the powder-in-jam method of 
education, and its whole atmosphere is fragrant of thoughts and 
ways which have become obsolete long ago. But to those who 
have followed the struggles of Natural Science to be allowed an 
entrance into the jealously guarded and preserved domain of the 
subjects which may be properly considered educational ; who 
have seen it slowly emerge from the surrounding darkness into 
great light, until it has at length, not perhaps without something 
of effrontery, arrogated to itself upon all occasions, as the 
originators of our lectures did upon this, the universal name of 
Science, as though it would, in its turn, declare 

" What I know not is not knowledge ; " 

to those the marvel is that, at the very beginning of this pre- 
eminently scientific century, our fathers were so far in advance of 
the average mind of their time as to propose that Natural Science 
should form "an ordinary and stated branch of education." 

When the third course had been delivered, the donations and 
subscriptions received for lectures, up to that time, amounted 
to £iA9S 19s. 4d. The purchase of apparatus I have already 
spoken of, and Mr. Turner had been paid two hundred guineas 
for each of the two first courses, and £1^7 los. for the third course 
The lectures were called the New Institution, and the accounts 
were kept distinct from those of the Society, and were published 
separately. This course was adopted because of the suspicion 
with which some members regarded the movement from the 
commencement, and their erroneous belief that it was solely 
supported out of the general funds of the Society. 

Indeed, there had been considerable opposition to the 
New Institution from the very first A large number of the 
members cared for nothing but the Library, and they looked 



LECTURES, 



219 



upon all assistance rendered to the lectures as an actual loss to 
the Library. Open war broke out in 1808, and raged for some 
three or four years. The part played by Mr. Turner himself 
was invariably judicious, conciliatory, and dignified. Pamphlets 
were poured forth; poetical effusions, from which the poetic 
element was conspicuously absent, were scattered broadcast; the 
local press was appealed to; and anonymous letters were 
circulated. Such a pother and a racket over the lectures and 
the lecturer. It is difficult to wade through the floods of 
rubbish now. The fun can never have been funny, but some of 
the disputants would seem to have been in earnest, although 
they betray more anxiety to wound their antagonists than to 
convince them. There is bludgeon play of a coarse and vulgar 
type, but no rapier flashing. Some of the attacks are imperti- 
nent and disgraceful. The fact that Mr. Turner was a Unitarian 
minister is paraded as though it were in itself a reproach. But 
patience, dignity, and moderation, carried the day, and, at many 
largely attended meetings of the Society, the Lecturer received 
abundant proof and frequent assurance of the confidence and 
gratitude felt towards him by the overwhelming majority of the 
members. 

But there was one ground of complaint which was altogether 
reasonable. The lectures were delivered in the Library itself, 
and this was manifestly unfair to those subscribers who wished 
to sit and read without being talked to all the time. Mr. Turner 
immediately admitted the force and justice of this complaint, 
and in 1809 he made arrangements by which the lectures should 
thenceforth be delivered in the Concert Hall in the Bigg Market. 

But there was one serious loss to the Society involved in the 
great gain of the New Institution. It was a personal one, but 
such are often, in one sense, the most serious of losses, for they 
are irreparable. Of course when the choice is between the 



220 



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LECTURES. 



221 



satisfaction of an individual and the benefit of the Society, the 
individual, however important, must give way. It is hard, 
indeed, when any one has worked for long years in the Society's 
service, that his earnest wishes should be set aside, but this is 
incident to the very existence of such societies, which would 
otherwise exist at the will of a dictator. Difficulties of this 
kind are incident to all institutions of voluntary association, and 
the freer their constitution, the more complete the equality of their 
members, the more certain are such troubles to arise frequently. 
Mr. Moises took a somewhat active part in opposition to 
the New Institution. He joined Mr. Beilby, who led that 
opposition, and there was a strong attempt upon their part 
to put an end to the lectures. At length Mr. Moises wrote 
Mr. Turner, explaining that he had asked Mr. Marshall, the 
Librarian, that a special meeting of the Committee should be 
called to take into consideration the objections which he and 
his friends would then bring forward "to the Connexion at 
present subsisting between the L. & P. S. and the N. I., and 
the consequences that are likely to result from a continuance 
of such connexion." He added that as Mr. Turner might feel 
it not pleasant to attend such meeting, he should be glad to 
meet him in the interim, either alone, or each accompanied by a 
friend, " in order to state to him openly and explicitly the light 
in which Mr. M. and his friends view the subject alluded to." 

But Mr. Turner was unfortunately leaving home by the next 
day's mail, and could not make an appointment. He wrote Mr. 
Moises an admirable letter, in which he said that " he would 
have felt nothing unpleasant in attending any meeting at which 
the question of the Institution was to be discussed ; having had 
no concern in the original proposal, having sought no appoint- 
ment in it, being conscious of no blame, though of much im- 
perfection, in the discharge of the office assigned him, and 



being very ready to resign that office whenever the Society shall 
intimate a wish to that effect." 

One of the many long unsigned letters which appeared in the 
newspapers about this time seems to have greatly aroused Mr. 
Moises* ire. The correspondence I have mentioned above was 
apparently of February's date. The letter last spoken of was 
dated the 3rd March, 1809, and it showed the improper part which 
Mr. Marshall, the Librarian, had taken against Mr, Turner, and 
traced the rather strange and under-hand action which Mr. 
Beilby and others had taken. In a note to this letter (which 
was printed and circulated) it is observed, " Even the Rev. Mr. 
Moises, who attended the last meeting, to give notice of some 
counter-resolutions, with a degree of candour which does him 
honour, consented to withdraw his opposition." For some 
unknown reason this seems to have stirred the worthy peda- 
gogue to fury. Under the date of "Spital, March 7th, 1809," he 
writes to Mr. Turner : — 

" Revd. Sir, 

The perversion of facts, which have been published by those 
who advocate your cause, and the abuse of my name, and my motives 
by your immediate Friends, I have smiled at, — but now that I am 
become the object of their nauseous Compliments, and my Candor 
admired in a case, which you know never existed, my mind revolts 
from such a system of low trick and vulgar chicane ; and I should feel 
myself out of my proper place were I ever to appear in your Society again. 
As I am ignorant who the proper Officer is to whom I ought to 
send my Resignation, I must entreat you to do me the favour of erasing 
my name from the list of Members. 

I am. Reverend Sir, 

Your most obedient 

and very humble Servant, 

EDWD. MOISES." 



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That is a letter which should have gone into the blotting- 
pad, not into the post-office. The President well described it as 
a "strangely un-gentlen:ian-like passionate Letter." It was read 
at the next meeting. Mr. Moises and his friends made a half- 
hearted attempt to form a rival library, but it came to nothing, 
and the storm passed away. 

And now, in the Reading Room, benevolent Mr. Turner and 
irascible Mr. Moises contemplate each other from morning to 
night every day with perfect equanimity. But before I hap- 
pened upon this correspondence, I never looked upon their 
portraits without at once thinking of the ingeniously twisted 
cruets out of which you can pour at pleasure oil or vinegar. 

In the report presented at the Annual Meeting in 1816, the 
Committee " embraced the opportunity of noticing that the New 
Institution continued to answer all the purposes for which it was 
originally designed." They then go on to say, " This interesting 
branch, which received its existence and its nurture from the 
Society, has in its turn eminently contributed to support the 
credit and to extend the usefulness of the parent establishment. 
The Committee may be pardoned for remarking here that by 
respectable strangers, whose capability and means of judging 
were undeniable, flattering testimony has been repeatedly borne 
to the superior intelligence and attainments of the inhabitants 
of Newcastle. This reputation, so honourable to the place in 
which we live, the partiality of the Committee would dispose 
them to refer partly to the influence of the Society, and partly 
also to that free spirit of enquiry and desire of improvement 
which public lectures are so well calculated to bring forth." 

And partly, I fear, to buncombe. What large town did 
those « respectable strangers " visit next, and what did they say 
of the intelligence and attainments of its inhabitants? I think 
that nowadays we all know those "respectable strangers." But 




4 

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THE REV. WILLIAM TURNER. 



222 



LECTURES, 



That is a letter which should have gone into the blotting. 
pad, not into the post-office. The President well described it as 
a "strangely un-gentleman-like passionate Letter." It was read 
at the next meeting. Mr. Moises and his friends made a half- 
hearted attempt to form a rival library, but it came to nothing, 
and the storm passed away. 

And now, in the Reading Room, benevolent Mr. Turner and 
irascible Mr. Moises contemplate each other from morning to 
night every day with perfect equanimity. But before I hap- 
pened upon this correspondence, I never looked upon their 
portraits without at once thinking of the ingeniously twisted 
cruets out of which you can pour at pleasure oil or vinegar. 

In the report presented at the Annual Meeting in 1816, the 
Committee " embraced the opportunity of noticing that the New 
Institution continued to answer all the purposes for which it was 
originally designed." They then go on to say, " This interesting 
branch, which received its existence and its nurture from the 
Society, has in its turn eminently contributed to support the 
credit and to extend the usefulness of the parent establishment. 
The Committee may be pardoned for remarking here that by 
respectable strangers, whose capability and means of judging 
were undeniable, flattering testimony has been repeatedly borne 
to the superior intelligence and attainments of the inhabitants 
of Newcastle. This reputation, so honourable to the place in 
which we live, the partiality of the Committee would dispose 
them to refer partly to the influence of the Society, and partly 
also to that free spirit of enquiry and desire of improvement 
which public lectures are so well calculated to bring forth." 

And partly, I fear, to buncombe. What large town did 
those " respectable strangers " visit next, and what did they say 
of the intelligence and attainments of its inhabitants? I think 
that nowadays we all know those "respectable strangers." But 







THE REV. WILLIAM TURNER. 






LECTURES, 



223 



we are always glad to meet them, and ready to receive and 
acknowledge their good opinion. 

"What ardently he wished, he long believed." 

And it IS so soothing to think that we are not exactly like other 
men. Only the very day upon which I write this a letter has 
appeared in the London press from no less a person than the 
brand-new " Poet Laureate," in which he clearly shows that, if 
a bad poet, he is a good patriot He says that for the United 
States to declare war upon England would be " an awful crime," 
but that for England to declare war upon the United States 
would be — " an appalling responsibility." How admirable an 
arrangement it is that no power exists which can give us the art 
of seeing ourselves as others see us ! 

The report of which I was speaking, before I was led to 
digress and transgress, states that the attendance at the lectures 
had " of late years been considerably on the increase." 

The Rev. Mr. Turner continued to hold the office of Lecturer 
to the Society until the year 1833. He gave each year either 
one or two courses of lectures, from twelve to thirty-two lectures 
constituting a course. His subjects, besides those which I have 
already mentioned, included Electricity, Galvanism, Magnetism, 
Chemistry, Optics, Astronomy, the Philosophy of Natural 
Appearances, Botany, the Philosophy of Natural History, the 
Animal Kingdom, the Vegetable Kingdom, the Mineral King- 
dom, and the application of Chemistry to the Arts and Manu- 
factures, Domestic Economy, Agriculture, etc. " In the drawing 
up of each course," he explained, " his aim was to be sparing of 
mathematical formulae ; to take his illustrations as much as 
possible from common and obvious appearances ; to apply the 
principles laid down to the explanation of the machines, etc., 
most useful in this district ; and to lead his hearers to remark 



I 



-II 



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LECTURES. 



and admire the benevolence and wisdom displayed in the works 
of the Creator." 

When the present building was completed and opened a 
change was made in the lecturing arrangements. Thenceforth the 
Lecturer was to receive ;^5o a year from the funds of the Society, 
and the members were to be admitted free to the annual course. 
For the course, non-members were to pay a guinea each, and 
ladies and young persons under twenty-one, half-a-guinea, 
whilst the admission to a single lecture was to be half-a-crown. 
All expenses were to be defrayed out of the sum received for 
tickets, and the balance was to be handed over to the Lecturer. 
The lectures were to commence in the first week of the month 
of October in each year, and the subject of the intended course 
was to be announced at the preceding annual meeting. 

In 1833 Mr. Turner resigned the position of Lecturer, which 
he had held for thirty years. He gracefully thanked the Society 
"for having been allowed for so many years to discharge, 
however imperfectly, the duties of that office. Finding, how- 
ever, that his other numerous engagements prevented him from 
keeping up with the rapid march of science— chemical science 
more especially— he thought it his duty to resign." 

He had undertaken an enormous task, and had loyally 
performed it to the best of his ability. Our gratitude is due to 
him for the work which he did, and not less due to him for the 
fact that he knew when, owing to the increase of scientific 
research, and to more perfect specialisation, he was no longer 
able to do it 

Mr. Turner was the father of the Society, and continued 
to act as one of its Secretaries until the year 1837, when he 
retired from that office and became a Vice-President. He left 
Newcastle in 1841, and a special meeting was held in September 
of that year, at which it was resolved " that the long-continued 



LECTURES. 



225 



and inestimable services which have been rendered by Mr. 
Turner, in the formation or encouragement of our various 
institutions, for the promotion of Science, Literature, and the 
Fine Arts — the improvement of education, and the purposes of 
charity and benevolence, have justly entitled him to some mark 
of public respect and gratitude, on his retiring from public life, 
and ceasing to reside among us." 

It was resolved further that it would be most acceptable 
to him, and most conducive to his comfort in his retirement, 
to raise a sum of money by public subscription to be applied as 
seemed most advisable for his benefit. 



4\ 



1 



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1 



IS 



H**)! 



LECTURES, 



227 




CHAPTER X. 

LECTURES— Continued, 

N my last chapter I followed the lectures which have 
been given in connection with the Society from the 
earliest date to the time when the Rev. William 
Turner ceased to hold the position of Lecturer. I did not, 
however, mention that lectures other than his had already begun 
to make their appearance. 

So far as I have been able to ascertain, the first of these 
were given by Robert Bakewell, Lecturer at the Russell and 
the Surrey Institutions, London, and were a course of ten 
Geological and Mineralogical lectures " to elucidate the Natural 
History of the Earth and its Mineral productions." They were 
"illustrated by Experiments, Mineral Specimens, and numerous 
original Drawings and Sections." Tickets were to be had at 
the rooms of the Literary Society, and cost for the course — 
Gentlemen, £\ 5s. ; ladies, £\ is.; tickets including the resident 
members of the family, not exceeding five, £1 5s.; single 
lecture, 4s. 

Next came Mr. Sadler, who " respectfully announced to the 
Ladies and Gentlemen of Newcastle his intention of delivering 
a Lecture on the History, Theory, and Practice of iErostation ; 
in which will be explained the Methods of constructing and 
inflating Montgolfier and inflammable Air Balloons, illustrated 



by Models which will be made to ascend in the Lecture Room." 
Here again our Society sold the tickets, which were 3s. each, 
but would admit two young persons. 

Then Mr. T. Longstafl) a member of the Society, began a 
course in September 18 14, at the Joiners* Hall in High Friar 
Street, where Mr. Turner's lectures were, at this time, delivered. 
Tickets were to be had for the "Course of 6 Lectures on the 
sublime Science of Astronomy" at the principal booksellers 
and the Library of the Literary and Philosophical Society. Six 
transferable tickets cost 14s., and single lectures 3s. each. 

But these all seem to have been independent ventures, only 
countenanced by our Society. The earliest course which the 
Committee acknowledge in their report is thirteen years later. 
In March 1827, Mr. Henry Atkinson gave a course of ten or 
twelve lectures on Astronomy, half-a-guinea being charged for 
the course, and two shillings for a single lecture. The advertise- 
ment says, " As these lectures are principally designed for the 
benefit of young people, all complicated calculations and intricate 
mathematical demonstrations will be studiously avoided by the 
Lecturer." 

Mr. Henry Atkinson was one of those Redesdale mathe- 
maticians who made Woodburn so famous at the beginning of 
this century. Many a learned paper on higher mathematics 
and on deep astronomical questions did he lay before the 
Monthly Meetings of the Society, whence some of them found 
their way to the Royal Astronomical Society, by whom they 
were published. He was one of the Rev. William Turner's con- 
gregation, and an active member of the Committee of this Society 
for eleven years. He died in 1829 at the age of forty-eight. 

But other lectures of a more philosophical type also began 
to make their appearance. The son of the founder of the 
Society, and himself called the Rev. William Turner, who was 




228 



LECTURES, 



a minister in Halifax, gave a course, during the winter of 1830, 
upon " The Origin and Progress of Civil Society." It is ex- 
ceedingly difficult to ascertain with any certainty what was 
done at this period in the way of gratuitous lecturing by 
members and others, for the allusions which the Committee 
make to the matter in their reports are meagre in the extreme. 
Thus, for instance, we find, under the date of May 3rd, 183 1, 
the following entry : " Mr. Arnaud gave notice that he should 
be ready to commence his Lectures on Political Economy on 
Monday, the sixteenth of that month. It is greatly to be 
regretted that the attendance was not such as might have been 
expected from the acknowledged importance of the subject, and 
from the very able manner in which it was treated." 

In 1895 Political Economy w^as a tabooed subject for our 
Society. A number of the members had formed a small 
association to study the many vitally important questions with 
which this invaluable science deals, but there was so much 
opposition to it from some members that the Committee 
thought it necessary to prohibit the meetings. Surely " we are 
not better than our fathers ! " 

In that same report for 1832 we read that, upon July 21st, 
i83i,Mr. T. M. Greenhow delivered an elaborate lecture on the 
Structure and Functions of the Eye to a numerous audience. 
But the most important event in this line was the giving of the 
second part of the regular course " on Magnetism, Electricity, 
Galvanism, and Electro-Magnetism, by Mr. H. L. Pattinson, 
Assay Master of the Greenwich Hospital at Alston ; a gentleman 
who has paid great attention to this very important, though, in 
many respects, novel subject; and whose Lectures may therefore 
be expected, from his known abilities, to be very interesting." 

But that grim Asiatic fiend, cholera morbus, was amongst 
us, and created great consternation. In three months 937 people 



il 




HUGH LEE PATTINSON. 



'■r 



228 



LECTURES, 



a minister in Halifax, gave a course, during the winter of 1830, 
upon "The Origin and Progress of Civil Society." It is ex- 
ceedingly difficult to ascertain with any certainty what was 
done at this period in the way of gratuitous lecturing by 
members and others, for the allusions which the Committee 
make to the matter in their reports are meagre in the extreme. 
Thus, for instance, we find, under the date of May 3rd, 183 1, 
the following entry : " Mr. Arnaud gave notice that he should 
be ready to commence his Lectures on Political Economy on 
Monday, the sixteenth of that month. It is greatly to be 
regretted that the attendance was not such as might have been 
expected from the acknowledged importance of the subject, and 
from the very able manner in which it was treated." 

In 1895 Political Economy was a tabooed subject for our 
Society. A number of the members had formed a small 
association to study the many vitally important questions with 
which this invaluable science deals, but there was so much 
opposition to it from some members that the Committee 
thought it necessary to prohibit the meetings. Surely "we are 
not better than our fathers ! " 

In that same report for 1832 we read that, upon July 21st, 
i83i,Mr. T. M. Greenhow delivered an elaborate lecture on the 
Structure and Functions of the Eye to a numerous audience. 
But the most important event in this line was the giving of the 
second part of the regular course " on Magnetism, Electricity, 
Galvanism, and Electro-Magnetism, by Mr. H. L. Pattinson, 
Assay Master of the Greenwich Hospital at Alston ; a gentleman 
who has paid great attention to this very important, though, in 
many respects, novel subject; and whose Lectures may therefore 
be expected, from his known abilities, to be very interesting." 

But that grim Asiatic fiend, cholera morbus, was amongst 
us, and created great consternation. In three months 937 people 




HUCH LKK I'ATTINSOX, 



T 



LECTURES. 



229 



were attacked in Newcastle by the disease, 306 of whom suc- 
cumbed to it I think that not even the tales of woe which in 
childhood many of us heard from our parents, who had taken their 
part in combating the dire foe, so called up before our minds the 
beleaguered state to which our town was reduced as does the 
simple entry in the report of which I am speaking: " In conse- 
quence of the disturbed state of the public mind, engrossed as 
it has necessarily been by the present awful visitation, it has 
not been thought expedient to commence the Lectures till 
Monday, the 22nd January" (1832), I cannot tell whether 
they were actually given then, but Mr. Pattinson certainly gave 
a course of six upon the same subject, and in March of the same 
year, to " a numerous and respectable auditory, who warmly testi- 
fied their admiration of the perspicuity of the lectures, and the 
precision with which the illustrative experiments were made." 

The demand was still rather for courses of lectures than for 
single ones, and, in 1833, the Committee engaged Mr. James 
F. W. Johnston, who was Professor of Chemistry in the new 
University of Durham, to give a course of twenty-two lectures 
upon Chemistry. These gave universal satisfaction, and they 
proved so popular that the receipts from them not only paid 
the expenses, but left a handsome surplus towards the next 
year's course, so that no contribution was required from the 
Society. Mr. Johnston had a practical class for students upon 
the mornings of his lecture-days, and they reaped the greatest 
benefit from it. He was a man of striking ability, and his work 
in this district is not yet forgotten. It is pleasant to be able to 
record that the splendid chemical laboratory at the College of 
Science in this city bears his honoured name. 

The time had now come when it was generally felt that the 
New Institution should be absorbed by the Society, and accord- 
ingly, at the Annual Meeting in 1835, certain alterations were 



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230 



LECTURES. 



1 1 

I'i 



made in the Laws, one of which declared that "The New 
Institution shall merge into the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, the subscribers to the former retaining all their privi- 
leges." It was further decreed that lectures should be delivered 
annually in the Society's Lecture Room, a sum not exceeding 
£,100 a year being expended upon them, and a discretionary 
power being vested in the Committee as to the sum to be paid to 
the lecturer, the commencement of the lectures, and the prices of 
admission. A resolution was also carried that a Sub-committee of 
seven should be appointed by the General Committee at the first 
meeting after their election every year from their own body, or 
from the members at large, for the purpose of managing the 
Lecture Department of the Society. This Sub-committee was 
" to enter into correspondence so as to obtain the services of men 
of talent, and to make every arrangement in connection with the 
annual course of lectures." The title, « New Institution," con- 
tmued to appear in the Reports until 1838. 

The work was carried out admirably and successfully 
Professor John Phillips, then Assistant Secretary to the newly- 
formed British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
and Professor of Geology at the newly-formed King's College 
m London, gave, in the autumn of 1834, a course of twenty-two 
lectures on "Geology," in "a clear and luminous manner" 
highly gratifying to his numerous audience. He had also a 
very interesting and instructive practical class, with which he 
took various excursions "to the many Geological points with 
which this district abounds." To understand what this means 
we must remember that the science of geology, as we now know 
It, was still in the process of being formed. Dr. Buckland's 
" Bridgewater Treatise " had not appeared ; Sir Charles (then 
Mr.) Lyell had not published his Elements of Geology ■ Sir 
Roderick Murchison was still labouring, " in the field and the 



. 



LECTURES, 



231 



closet," at his Silurian System ; and the man who, in our young 
days, did the most to make geology popular, Hugh Miller, had 
just exchanged the chisel of the stone-mason for the pen of the 
bank-clerk. It was indeed a great thing for our members at 
such a time to have such a teacher as John Phillips, amongst 
those scientific giants "himself not least, but honoured of 

them all." 

But the Committee did not forget that the intellectual man 
does not live by scientific bread alone, and so they planned a 
course "on subjects of General Literature." They thereupon 
" addressed a letter to Thomas Campbell, Esq., the author of 
*The Pleasures of Hope,* requesting from him a course of 
lectures on the Belles Lettres." What a funny sound it has ! 
The poet was unfortunately absent from England. However, 
Dr. Knott, who was a member of the Society, consented to fill 
the gap, and he gave six lectures in 1835 gratuitously. They 
were on " The Laws of Organic and Inorganic Nature, with the 
particular view of elucidating the Phenomena of Vegetable and 
Animal Life," and they were received with much approbation 
by crowded audiences. 

In that year (1835) Mr. George Combe, the well-known 
phrenologist, was the Society's special lecturer. He was a 
Writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and had devoted much time 
and thought to the inquiries of Dr. Gall and his followers into 
the connection of the mind with physical organisation. He was 
a clear and polished writer and an admirable speaker. He 
arranged for three courses : one of sixteen lectures on " Phren- 
ology," one of eight lectures on " Animal Physiology," and the 
third of seven lectures on " The Principles on which a sound 
Education should be founded." This third course was to be at 
noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Members were charged 
half-a-guinea for it, and non-members fifteen shillings, whilst the 



232 



LECTURES. 



admission to any single lecture was three shillings. And this 
was sixty years ago. I wonder how many single admissions 
there were at that price : I can guess how many there would be 
at this day ! 

At all events the lectures on " Phrenology " were so great 
a success that they scarcely cost the Society anything. People 
were impatient to know what stories their skulls told about 
them. As wee bairns, we were terrified by the horribly neatly- 
numbered and departmentalised busts and casts which lay 
m waiting for us in dusky and unlooked-for places in many 
a Newcastle house. A Phrenological Society was formed to 
carry the fearful and wonderful study to yet more appalling 
lengths. It was allowed to meet in one of the parent Society's 
rooms, and there it kept its casts and models, but its life seems 
to have been but brief. Even so long ago there were irreverent 
people who laughed at the whole science of bumps, whilst there 
were others whose discoveries in their eager search for light in 
this special direction were curiously suggestive. Thus it was 
ascertained that ballet-dancers were endowed with the bump of 
" Tiptoe-ativeness," whilst an unappropriated enlargement on 
the head of Paganini was duly noted, and was named the 
organ of « Singlestring-ativeness." The phrenological lecturer 
appeared even in the pages of Punch, He is made to illustrate 
his discourse by an interesting performance upon a living model, 
thus : — ** * 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this head presents a conformation 
Of Benevolence deficient, with excessive Veneration • 
Destructiveness is very large, Acquisitiveness ample,' 
Of a crimmal development this man is an example : 

Bow, wow, wow ; 
This man was executed, 
Bow, wow, wow. 



LECTURES, 



233 



He committed the atrocity a little boy of killing 
For a silken pocket-handkerchief, a pencil-case and shilling : 
For cruelty he oft was fined, had once been tried for arson, 
But in Newgate was remarkably attentive to the parson. 

Bow, wow, wow, 
Highly corroborative. 

Bow, wow, wow." 

But, like many other popular subjects, this held its own for 
several years, and, although it has long since been put upon the 
shelf, there are persons even now who have their bumps duly 
noted. 

There was quite an outburst of lecturing in 1836, and some 
variety was given by the introduction of literary lectures. The 
first of these were the work of James Montgomery, then sixty- 
five years of age. Born in Ayrshire, educated to become a 
Moravian minister, apprenticed to a grocer at Mirfield, the love 
of writing drove him out into the great world when but sixteen 
years old, and there he bravely faced great privations, conquered 
unusual difficulties, and passed through much persecution. 
When he came here to lecture his poems had all been published, 
his political imprisonments lay more than forty years behind, 
and he had entered upon a calm and peaceful age of lettered 
ease which continued until the year 1853. Few persons read 
his poems now, and that is scarcely surprising to those who 
know them. But in my schoolboy days he stood high in our 
esteem, and, when we reverently and timorously acquainted him 
with the fact, the kindly old man condescended to correspond 
genially and courteously with his boyish admirers. He had 
lectured in 1830 and 183 1 at the Royal Institution upon Poetry 
and General Literature, and now, when he visited our Society to 
give six lectures on "British Poetry," he proved so great an 
attraction that our own lecture-room would not contain the 
audiences, and the Committee had to hire the Music Hall in 



V I 



234 



LECTURES, 



Nelson Street, then some six years old This led to consider- 
. able changes being made in the Society's own room. I need 
scarcely say that Mr. Montgomery's lectures gave his large 
audiences great satisfaction. 

Then Mr. Robert Ingham, who represented South Shields in 
Parliament for a quarter of a century, and who was justly one of 
the most respected men in the North of England, gave a single 
lecture on the state of education in Ireland. I fear that in these 
more advanced days it would have been tabooed as savouring 
of controversial politics ! Next came Mr. James Simpson, an 
advocate from Edinburgh, of whom the report speaks as " an 
amiable gentleman," and he held a course of eight lectures upon 
"Educational Philosophy," but they, apparently, "were not 
under the direct auspices of the Society," whatever that may 
mean. In the month of May, Mr. John Taylor delivered twelve 
lectures "replete with research and erudition" on "the Philosophy 
of the Human Mind." 

But the grand treat of all was reserved for December of 
that year, when the famous scientist, the Rev. Dr. Dionysius 
Lardner, commenced a remarkable course of twelve lectures on 
" the Steam Engine, and its application to transport by Land or 
Water." We are not surprised to learn that he had crowded 
and enthusiastic audiences. The locomotive and the steam- 
boat were still in their infancy. In 1830 British steam tonnage 
amounted to 21,600 tons; in 1890 it had increased to more 
than 5,500,000 tons. The Stockton and Darlington Railway 
was opened on the 2;th September, 1825. Between that time 
and 1840 five thousand miles of railways were constructed 
in the whole world, and in 1889 the world contained more 
than 305,000 miles of railways. Dr. Lardner discussed many 
things which have long since ceased to be looked upon as 
problems, such as the superior advantages of atmospheric 



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235 



railways, the comparative excellence of working railroads by 
stationary engines or by locomotives, the great gain which 
would come of alternating gradients, or undulating lines as they 
were called. He was evidently not a little doubtful of the real 
powers of the locomotive engine, and broached many a theory 
which was speedily exploded by the rude logic of experience. 
In one of his lectures he discussed the practicability of estab- 
lishing a line of steam communication between Great Britain 
and the United States. He held that this might be done, but 
that the direct passage could not be made ; the steamers must 
call at the Azores for coaling purposes ! " Great men are not 
always wise." On April 4th, 1838, the "Sirius" steamship 
sailed from Cork for New York, and four days later the 
" Great Western " sailed from Bristol for the same port, both 
making the direct voyage, and each reaching its destination on 
the 23rd of the same month. 

But if Dr. Lardner did not shine as a prophet, he was, and 
for many years continued to be, in the front rank as a popular 
lecturer. His Newcastle audiences are quaintly described as 
" very crowded and miscellaneous," and, after all expenses had 
been paid, the Society's funds were handsomely increased by 
the proceeds of his lectures. 

The plan of adjourning to the Music Hall when a lecturer 
proved more than usually popular was attended by many 
inconveniences, and it was found expedient to increase the size 
of the Society's own lecture-room. This was done (as has 
already been mentioned) by throwing into it two small rooms 
which had been occupied by the Antiquarian and the Phreno- 
logical Societies. It was thus made capable of accommodating 
nearly five hundred persons, and there was also obtained a 
private room from which the access to the Lecture Room was 
easy and convenient. At the same time "a place of deposit 



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for ladies' cloaks, etc., and a convenient waiting-room for their 
servants," were provided. That this last item should have a 
strangely archaic sound speaks volumes as to the entire change 
of our manners and customs in sixty short years. 

Four courses of lectures were given in 1837-38. The first 
was twelve upon "the Science of Music," by Mr. Thomas Adams, 
and the Committee say of them that "considering the severity 
of the season, and the numerous absences necessarily occasioned 
by the severe epidemic under which we are still suffering, the 
attendance has been very great" The epidemic was that which 
has been so much in evidence in late years, our dread foe 
influenza. The season was indeed severe, the cold being intense 
and the frequent falls of snow remarkable for their volume. 
The Committee go on to say: "Indeed, independent of the 
important observations brought forward, the variety of illustra- 
tions introduced, and performed with so much taste and accuracy, 
have rendered each lecture a most elegant and exquisite musical 
treat Mr. Adams, with that public spirit which has charac- 
terised the whole period of his residence here, delivered last 
night an extra lecture, for the benefit of our charitable institu- 
tions : the proceeds of which he leaves to be distributed by the 
Committee." They received no less than ;f 9 1 3s., which they 
handed to that useful charity, the Dispensary. 

Then Mr. William Warren gave a course of twelve lectures 
upon the " Principles of Art," and Sir William J. Hooker a 
course of similar length upon " Botany." These latter lectures 
produced a profound effect upon the auditors; they were 
pleasantly delivered and beautifully illustrated, and a movement 
was started through their influence which had as its object " the 
having and forming a Botanical Garden in the neighbourhood of 
Newcastle." The Committee, in commenting upon this scheme, 
said : " The recreation and delight afforded, in other towns, by 



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237 



establishments of a similar nature, are a sufficient guarantee 
that one near this improving place would prosper and flourish. 
It is intended to render this institution more attractive by after- 
wards adding subjects of zoology." 

Another capital bit of pavement for the only place in the 
universe where there is already too much of the same sort : 

" Spring calls forth many buds to swell 
Which ne'er may come to flowers," 

and the Botanical Garden is yet in the far future. 

But the lecturer for this year who would have been much the 
most welcome to us was the man who is so disguised in the 
Committee's report that his own mother would not have known 
him. Who can "Mr. Knowles, combining in himself, as he 
does, the powerful orator and correct actor," be ? Not, surely 
not, that curious Irish genius, the author of our childhood's 
treasures. The Hunchback and William Tell. Actor and orator 
indeed, but why not writer of plays, which have a charm 
and a character of their own, and not a bad one at that ? Yes, 
and preacher too, for he was sometimes called upon to preach, 
especially in his later days. I used to hear how, when he was a 
guest at North Shields, in a well-ordered but somewhat strict 
house, he used to slip away after nightfall to the congenial bar 
of a convenient public-house, and there unbend until the maids 
came for him to return and perform the evening devotions. 
Not that he was a sot, far from it ; but he appreciated variety 

in life. 

I need not trace the history of lectures in connection with 
the Society any further, at all events in so much detail. The 
plan of having long educational courses was not abandoned 
until 1847. Dr. Nichol, the author of The Architecture of the 
Heavens, and Professor of Astronomy in Glasgow University, 



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gave twelve on " The Harmony and Order of Celestial Pheno- 
mena," and Professor Rymer Jones, of King's College, London, 
twelve upon "The Animal Kingdom," both in 1839; Mr. 
Addams fifteen upon " Acoustics and Optics," and the Marquis 
di Spineto, of Cambridge, fourteen upon " The Antiquities of 
Egypt, or more properly on the Worship of Animals, of Poly- 
theism, Mythology, and Idolatry," in 1840; the next year, 
twelve were given by Dr. Ure on "The Application of 
Mineralogy to the Arts and Manufactures," and fifteen by Mr. 
Addams on "Electricity and its related branches;" and in 
1842, ten by Professor Macintosh on " Inductive Geology," 
six on "America" and two upon "India and England" by 
Mr. J. Silk Buckingham, and twenty by Mr. Addams upon 
" Chemistry." 

But the courses grew shorter by degrees, six or eight, and 
then three or four, lectures forming an entire course, and the 
plan of interspersing single lectures was largely resorted to. In 
1845 there were indeed three courses — one of six lectures on 
"English Church Music," by Professor Edward Taylor, the 
Gresham Professor of Music; one of twelve on "Geology," by 
Professor Ansted, who had also a Field Class; and the last of 
twelve on " Agricultural Chemistry and Geology," by Professor 
Johnston ; but there was no course of more than eight lectures, 
and only a few of more than three, for neariy a quarter of a 
century from that date. 

Members of the Society had begun to take an active part in 
the lecture work. Mr. James Snape, the mathematical master 
at the Royal Grammar School, afterwards the Rev. James 
Snape, its head-master, and an honoured and most useful Vice- 
President of our Society, made his first appearance as lecturer 
in the year 1838. His two lectures were on "The importance 
of the Study of Mathematics, more especially with regard to 



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239 



their application to the Discoveries in Modern Astronomy." 
Forty-two years afterwards he was still lecturing to the Society, 
which he had served faithfully and well during the whole of the 
interval, filling the offices of Committee-man and Vice-President, 
and lecturing to it no fewer than twenty-two times. He was an 
excellent speaker, had a prodigious voice which he used more 
than was necessary, and was one of the most courteous, kindest, 
and gentlest of men. There was a considerable likeness in his 
face, figure, and ways to Professor De Morgan. Portly, good- 
humoured, wiping away the frequent dew from their spectacles, 
laying down the mathematical laws with a loud assurance, for a 
moment losing temper when stupidity was too rampant, but 
sunshine driving away the storm before it had time to burst; 
honourable, simple, and genuine ; they had much in common as 
well as their love of the Mathematics. "The man who has 
mastered the Mathematics is master of everything" was, for 
many years, one of Mr. Snape's favourite dicta, but he made his 
Committee brethren roar with laughter as he told them with the 
utmost naivete how he had found, by endeavouring to mount a 
horse for the first time and ride it to Stamfordham, that the 
rule had not quite the universal application which he had been 
inclined to give it.- 

In the year 1844 an interesting experiment was made. The 
Committee were disappointed by Professor Phillips, who found 
himself unable to deliver the autumn course of lectures which 
had been arranged, and they appealed to the members to supply 
his place. Six gentlemen were forthcoming, and they gave 
nine lectures amongst them, and had such crowded audiences 
that " on some of the evenings parties were obliged to go away, 
unable to obtain admission." 

The first of these lecturers was the Rev. James Snape, and 
he was followed by Dr. Glover, who spoke upon one night on 



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III;: 



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240 



LECTURES. 



"Combustion," illustrating his discourse with several brilliant 
experiments, and "giving an account of a theory which he 
entertained with regard to the electro-chemical doctrine, and the 
mode in which the affinities of bodies are explained by it;" and 
upon another night on " Respiration," in which " he described 
some of the recently published views and doctrines of Liebig." 

Then came "our talented young townsman, Mr. W. G. 
Armstrong, of the firm of Donkin, Stable, and Armstrong, 
solicitors of this town, who has risen rapidly into celebrity,'* and 
who " gave his very interesting lectures on * Hydro-Electricity ' 
in a crowded room, to which several were unable to gain 
admission." These lectures indeed "constituted, from the 
novelty of the subject and the efficiency of the apparatus he 
employed, the great attraction of the course." Those of us who 
recognise in " our talented young townsman " of that day our 
noble President of this will not be surprised to learn that he 
was, "from the perspicuity of his language, which was not 
veiled in technicalities that are only known to the initiated few, 
perfectly understood by the whole of his attentive and gratified 
audience. The Committee considered it matter for congratula- 
tion that the discovery of this new and most energetic mode of 
producing electricity should have originated in this neighbour- 
hood, and have acquired its present importance through the 
researches of one of the members of this Society. Mr. 
Armstrong's arrangements for the illustration of his lectures 
were both ingenious and effectual, and his happy manner of 
explaining the different branches of the subject could scarcely 
be excelled." 

I think that there is sufficient interest about these lectures of 
more than half a century ago to justify my extracting from the 
report of the Committee the account which they give of the 
discovery of Hydro-Electricity. They say :— 



l» 



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241 



"In the autumn of 1840, William Patterson, a workman employed 
at a fixed steam-engine on the Railway of Cramlington Colliery, being 
accidentally brought in contact with a jet of steam issuing from a chink 
in the boiler, was surprised to observe a spark of fire, as he described 
it, pass from his hand to the lever of the safety-valve, which he was in 
the act of adjusting, experiencing at the same time an electrical shock, 
which he represented as somewhat severe. From his report of what 
had occurred the matter was brought under the notice of several 
persons, including Mr. Armstrong, who appears to be the only person, 
excepting Professor Faraday, who has investigated the subject to any 
extent, or who has arrived at correct conclusions respecting the cause of 
the electrical excitation. Mr. Armstrong's examination of the boiler 
on the Cramlington Railway, and his subsequent experiments with 
others in the neighbourhood, soon led him to the conclusion that 
similar effects always attended the escape of high-pressure steam. It 
was ascertained also by Mr. Armstrong, as well as by Mr. Hugh 
Lee Pattinson, another of your members, that the electricity 
evolved from the steam was positive, whilst negative electricity was 
yielded by the boiler when measures were taken to insulate it 
Mr. Armstrong's next step was to have experimental boilers and 
other apparatus constructed, and the results of his investigations 
with these instruments were published in a series of papers in the 
Philosophical Magazine. Mr. Pattinson also published the result of 
his investigations in the same work. When Mr. Armstrong first turned 
his attention to the subject, he was led to believe that the development 
of electricity arose from the conversion of water into steam, and its 
subsequent return by condensation to its original state, and that con- 
sequently it was a confirmation of the doctrine that the atmosphere is 
charged with electricity by the evaporation of water from the surface of 
the earth. As early, however, as December 1 841, Mr Armstrong found 
that the excitation of electricity took place at the point where the steam 
is subjected to friction, and announced the fact in a paper which he 
published in the Philosophical Magazine for January 1842. He also 
found, as appears by other papers published in the same periodical, that 

16 



242 



LECTURES. 



LECTURES, 



243 



the electrical conditions of the boiler and steam cloud might in various 
ways be reversed, and that the escape of highly compressed air was 
attended with similar effects to that of steam. In the Philosophical 
Magazine for January 1843 he also states that the intermixture of a 
small quantity of water was essential to a high development of electricity, 
and that he obtained the supply of water required for this purpose by 
means of a condensing chamber appended to the powerful machine 
which he there described, and which was the first apparatus that had 
been made deserving the appellation of a hydro-electric machine. In 
the same paper, and also in that for January 1843, Mr. Armstrong 
noticed that the quantity of electricity produced depended greatly upon 
both the form and material of the discharging or frictional passage— that 
partridge wood was the best material he had tried— and that the form 
of passage which he there described, and which is nearly the same as 
that which he now uses in his hydro-electric machines, was highly 
favourable to the development of electricity. The investigation had 
proceeded thus far when Professor Faraday delivered a lecture on the 
subject to the Royal Institution of London. In this lecture the 
Professor differed from Mr. Armstrong only in stating that the electricity 
is produced by the water alone >eing exposed to friction, and that the 
steam as steam produces no electricity during its emission, whereas 
Mr. Armstrong had asserted that the accompaniment of a portion of 
water is * essential to a high development of electricity,' and that the 
excitation takes place at the point * where the steam is subjected to 
friction,' but without specifying whether the effect arises from the friction 
of the water alone, or of the steam and water combined. He had also 
expressed a difficulty in attributing the excitation exclusively to friction; 
while Dr. Faraday asserted, as a matter of certainty, that friction was 
the sole exciting cause. According to various reports of Dr. Faraday's 
lecture, which appeared in different periodicals, he seems to have 
considered that Mr. Armstrong retained his first opinions as to the cause 
of the electricity in issuing steam ; but it is clear from what has been 
stated that Mr. Armstrong had substantially arrived at the correct 
explanation of the subject long prior to the delivery of Dr. Faraday's 



lecture. In confirmation of this, it may be stated that the large hydro- 
electric machine at the Polytechnic Institution in London (the most 
powerful electrical apparatus in the world), and which was constructed 
under Mr. Armstrong's direction, upon the principle of exposing dis- 
tilled water to violent friction in its passage through a wooden orifice, 
was complete and in operation in Newcastle in April 1843, whilst 
Professor Faraday's lecture was not delivered until June of that year. 
It must be stated, however, that in a paper * On the Electricity evolved 
by the Friction of Water and Steam against other bodies,' by Professor 
Faraday, published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1843, Part I., 
the Professor has fully acknowledged Mr. Armstrong's claims, and has 
referred to all his papers in the Philosophical Magazine^ as well as to 
those of Mr. Pattinson. The experiments of Mr. Armstrong and Dr. 
Faraday have shewn that water as an electric is the most excitable body 
with which we are acquainted, and that by subjecting it to friction 
against a rubbing surface of wood, frictional electricity may be more 
copiously produced than by any other method hitherto employed 
Thus the enormous plate-glass machine at the Polytechnic Institution 
in London, which measures seven feet in diameter, and is worked by a 
steam-engine of two horse-power, will charge a battery containing 
eighty square feet of surface in fifty seconds, whilst the hydro-electric 
machine before alluded to, and also belonging to that institution, is 
capable of charging the same battery in about six seconds. In Mr. 
Armstrong's second lecture he announced the following facts, which had 
not previously been published — viz., that the electricity produced by 
hydro electric machines is considerably increased by inserting rods of 
tin rubbed with mercury in the pipes which supply by condensation 
the pure water to be discharged by the steam. That the quantity of 
electricity produced depended in a high degree upon the material of 
the condensing pipes and the condition of their internal surface ; that 
an iron condensing pipe with an oxidised interior was highly favourable 
to the development of electricity, whilst the action of the machine was 
almost entirely counteracted by using condensing pipes of the same 
material, with a bright or metallic surface within, and that the electricity 



244 



LECTURES, 



is actually reversed by using a brass condensing pipe and introducing a 
few grains of a neutral salt, formed by dissolving brass, the material of 
the pipe, in nitric acid. With respect to these results, and others of a 
similar nature, Mr. Armstrong justly observed that they were still 
involved in difficulty, and that their further investigation presented a 
promising field of discovery. Mr. Armstrong's lectures were illustrated 
by very beautiful apparatus, and the small hydro-electric machine which 
he used on the occasion displayed a degree of power which, considering 
the smallness of its size, was truly surprising. For further information 
on the subject of hydro-electricity your Committee must refer to Mr. 
Armstrong's various papers in the Philosophical Magazine, amongst 
which will be found a description of the large hydro-electric machine 
above mentioned ; to Professor Faraday's lecture, which is published in 
the July and August numbers of the Repertory of Patent Inventions for 
1843, and to the Professor's paper before mentioned in the Philosophical 
Transactions for 1843." 

Is there not quite a peculiar interest in the fact that, forty- 
nine years after the delivery of these lectures, the same gentleman, 
now the Lord Armstrong of world-wide scientific fame, was 
again bringing before the members of this Society some of the 
results of his original researches into certain electrical phenomena. 

In the course of lectures of which those I have mentioned on 
" Hydro-Electricity " formed part, Dr. Embleton, who is happily 
still with us, and who has been closely connected with the 
working of the Society during the greater part of a long and 
honourable life, followed with two lectures upon "Animal 
Mechanics"; and Mr. Sopwith concluded the course with two 
upon " Economic Geology, or the practical bearings of Geological 
Science on the discovery and working of mines, selection of 
materials for roads, buildings, etc., and other useful applications 
of mineral products to the wants and comforts of mankind." 

Thomas Sopwith, the learned lecturer, was truly a remarkable 




THOMAS SOPWITH, F.R.S. 



244 



LECTURES. 



is actually reversed by using a brass condensing pipe and introducing a 
few grains of a neutral salt, formed by dissolving brass, the material of 
the pipe, in nitric acid. With respect to these results, and others of a 
similar nature, Mr. Armstrong justly observed that they were still 
involved in difficulty, and that their further investigation presented a 
promising field of discovery. Mr. Armstrong's lectures were illustrated 
by very beautiful apparatus, and the small hydro-electric machine which 
he used on the occasion displayed a degree of power which, considering 
the smallness of its size, was truly surprising. For further information 
on the subject of hydro-electricity your Committee must refer to Mr. 
Armstrong's various papers in the Philosophical Magazine, amongst 
which will be found a description of the large hydro-electric machine 
above mentioned ; to Professor Faraday's lecture, which is published in 
the July and August numbers of the Repertory of Patent Inventions for 
1 843, and to the Professor's paper before mentioned in the Philosophical 
Transactions for 1843." 

Is there not quite a peculiar interest in the fact that, forty- 
nine years after the delivery of these lectures, the same gentleman, 
now the Lord Armstrong of world-wide scientific fame, was 
again bringing before the members of this Society some of the 
results of his original researches into certain electrical phenomena. 

In the course of lectures of which those I have mentioned on 
*' Hydro-Electricity " formed part. Dr. Embleton, who is happily 
still with us, and who has been closely connected with the 
working of the Society during the greater part of a long and 
honourable life, followed with two lectures upon "Animal 
Mechanics"; and Mr. Sopvvith concluded the course with two 
upon " Economic Geology, or the practical bearings of Geological 
Science on the discovery and working of mines, selection of 
materials for roads, buildings, etc., and other useful applications 
of mineral products to the wants and comforts of mankind." 

Thomas Sopwith, the learned lecturer, was truly a remarkable 




THOMAS SOFWITH, F.R.S. 



LECTURES. 



245 



man. Son of "Sopwith the cabinet-maker"; with little school- 
learning, but that little given him by one who was, in truth, a 
master, the mathematician of whom I have spoken in an earlier 
place, Mr. Henry Atkinson ; starting life as a joiner, but striking 
out into the lines of architecture and land surveying before he 
had attained to manhood ; engaged in great works, laying down 
of the boundaries of mineral royalties, surveying and planning 
new highways and railroads, employed as mineral surveyor and 
adviser by the Government, he yet found time to write and 
publish a History of All Saints Church; to invent " Sopwith's 
Monocleid Cabinet*'; to study geology; to write a text-book on 
isometric perspective; and to read papers to learned societies 
on many subjects, and find out many inventions. 

With a man of such great and varied ability it was certain 
that, as his years advanced, he would ever be in greater demand. 
And so it proved. At the very time that he was lecturing to 
our Society he was examining the mineral deposits of Belgium, 
and was advising the Belgian monarch as to how they might be 
most perfectly developed. Honours, of much value as such 
things go, and of unusual variety, were showered upon him, and 
in 1845 he became the manager or head of the Beaumont lead- 
mines, residing thenceforth at AUenheads. His long life of 
unwearied industry and brilliant achievement, in many very 
diverse directions, did not terminate until 1879. 

In the lectures which he delivered to this Society in 1844-45 
Mr. Sopwith " gave an outline of the rapid progress of geology 
in the last and present century, and especially noticed the 
labours of Mr. Smith, * the Father of Geology.' He alluded to 
the influence which the mineral stratification of a country has on 
climate, and on the distribution of society, which is thereby 
thinly scattered over the slate and older formations, and densely 
populous in the carboniferous districts, where the abundance of 



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246 



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247 



coal and iron give rise to manufactures, and furnish employment 
to multitudes. The duration of public edifices, the improvement 
of the soil, the goodness of roads, all depend much on geo- 
logical conditions, a right understanding of which is of great im- 
portance to national interests. Mr. S. shewed the relative 
thickness and super-position of the strata of the British Isles, by 
moveable models, shewing first their horizontal deposition, their 
subsequent elevation or depression by subterranean forces, 
attended with dislocations or fractures of the rocks, forming 
faults or troubles, and mineral veins. These were followed by 
denudation or extensive washing away of parts of the surface of 
the earth, the effects of which were exhibited by several models. 
The manner in which the British strata overlap each other was 
explained by a model composed of leaves of coloured paper 
representing the principal formations. Mr. S. briefly noticed 
the chief mineral productions of each, and exhibited and 
explained several geological maps and sections. One of these 
represented the Bristol coalfield, with the several overlying 
formations, and was lent for this occasion by Dr. Buckland. 

" In his second lecture, Mr. Sopwith applied the general 
principles which he had explained in the preceding lecture to 
the illustration of local geological phenomena, which were 
represented by large coloured sections and diagrams. In de- 
scribing the great dislocations which occur in the coal-mines of 
this district he particularly alluded to the great value of the 
sections of these prepared by the late Mr. Buddie, observing 
that they rank among the most valuable contributions which 
practical mining has ever conferred on geological science. Mr. 
Sopwith explained the vast extent of denudation in the vallies 
of the Tyne, the Team, Derwent, etc., and at Allendale and 
Alston Moor, shewing that the great limestone, one of the most 
valuable depositories of lead ore, has been removed for many 



miles by this powerful agency. He exhibited, by means of 
coloured diagrams, the chemical composition of coals of 
different quality and of building stone, pointing out the 
characteristic properties which ensure its permanency, and 
produced a great number of specimens of rocks, and of their 
mineral contents, which he had collected in various parts of the 
kingdom, as the Iron Pyrites of Dover, the Agates, Jaspers, etc., 
of Aberistwythe, Magnesian Limestone, from Sunderland, and a 
complete series of the rocks in the important lead-mine districts 
west of Newcastle. Mr. Sopwith explained the process of 
making the fuel recently patented by Mr. Wylam, of Gateshead, 
and an improved German buddle for washing lead ore. Speci- 
mens of the fuel were shewn in blocks, and also burnt in the 
fire-place. He described the Ordnance Geological Survey, the 
Building Stone Commission, and the admirable, useful, and 
cheap report of it which conveys a large mass of useful informa- 
tion. The importance of selecting good building stone was 
shewn by reference to local edifices, and to the restoration of 
Henry the 7th's Chapel. The connection between Geology and 
Agriculture was also explained, as were the proceedings of the 
Railway Section Committee— the Engraved Plans of Dean 
Forest— the Mining Records of Belgium, and the Museum of 
Economic Geology in London. Your Committee having 
directed that free admission should be given to the friends of 
the members, the room was crowded at every lecture, and on 
some of the evenings parties were obliged to go away, unable to 
obtain admission." 

Emboldened by their success, the Committee began to think 
of even greater things. They felt painfully the smallness and 
inadequacy of the Lecture-room, but they wished to make the 
very most of it The two courses of paid lectures delivered 
annually were not to be interfered with, but the Committee 



248 



LECTURES. 



hoped that, in addition, twelve at least of the many members 
might be induced to deliver at all events one lecture apiece 
during the year. "This might be done at the monthly 
meetings, and the Institution might thus be redeemed from 
the reproach and unpleasant reflection that the members of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne meet once a month, but only to propose and ballot for 
new members, whilst the original intention of such meetings, 
viz, to hear essays on, and to discuss, literary and scientific 
subjects, is scarcely ever carried into effect." 

The hopes of the Committee were not fulfilled : the twelve 

members willing to lecture were not forthcoming ; but for the 

next forty years there was scarcely one lecturing session in 

which one or more of the members did not take an active part. 

It is not possible for me to notice in detail the admirable dis- 

courses given by so many of our most distinguished citizens, 

but those who desire to know who have thus done our Society 

service will find the names and titles in the complete list of 

lectures and lecturers contained in the Appendix. The older 

members will not forget the band of earnest and advanced 

students of Natural History who have done great service in 

many directions by their patient and careful observations, 

addmg to the sum of human knowledge, or the antiquarians,' 

historians, and philosophers, whose names are "as household 

words," and some of the foremost of whom still go in and out 

amongst us. 

But I may properly mention the name of the Rev. Dr. 
Bruce, whose familiar face and form seem to have passed from 
us but yesterday, and who succeeded his honoured father as an 
active worker for the Society. For many years he was one of 
Its Vice-Presidents. Between 1845 and 1 881 he lectured to the 
Society more than thirty times, bringing before it the results of 




JOHN COLLINGWOOD BRUCE, D.C.L., LL.D. 



248 



LECTURES. 



hoped that, in addition, twelve at least of the many members 
might be induced to deliver at all events one lecture apiece 
during the year. "This might be done at the monthly 
meetings, and the Institution might thus be redeemed from 
the reproach and unpleasant reflection that the members of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne meet once a month, but only to propose and ballot for 
new members, whilst the original intention of such meetings, 
viz., to hear essays on, and to discuss, literary and scientific 
subjects, is scarcely ever carried into effect." 

The hopes of the Committee were not fulfilled : the twelve 
members willing to lecture were not forthcoming ; but for the 
next forty years there was scarcely one lecturing session in 
which one or more of the members did not take an active part. 
It is not possible for me to notice in detail the admirable dis- 
courses given by so many of our most distinguished citizens, 
but those who desire to know who have thus done our Society 
service will find the names and titles in the complete list of 
lectures and lecturers contained in the Appendix. The older 
members will not forget the band of earnest and advanced 
students of Natural History who have done great service in 
many directions by their patient and careful observations, 
adding to the sum of human knowledge, or the antiquarians,' 
historians, and philosophers, whose names are "as household 
words," and some of the foremost of whom still go in and out 
amongst us. 

But I may properly mention the name of the Rev. Dr. 
Bruce, whose familiar face and form seem to have passed from' 
us but yesterday, and who succeeded his honoured father as an 
active worker for the Society. For many years he was one of 
Its Vice-Presidents. Between 1845 and 1 881 he lectured to the 
Society more than thirty times, bringing before it the results of 




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his earliest and latest researches into the history of the Roman 
Wall and of the Bayeux Tapestry, and at times venturing a 
flight into the realms of science. Some fifty years ago how we 
young ones trembled as the tall, thin, worthy man raised his air- 
gun to his shoulder and boldly fired over the heads of his 
audience at an empty candle-box placed in that which now 
seems to have been a somewhat dubious place of safety. He 
was not often over the heads of his audience, many of whom 
had indeed trembled before the worthy Dominie with better 
reason, for on this occasion they suffered in fear, but the candle- 
box, alone, in fact. But few had seen the air-gun before that 
night : the old familiar weapon of woe was not hollow. 

For more than forty years, indeed from 1847 to the present 
time, many lecturers have visited the Society every year, except- 
ing that from 1888 to the autumn of 1892 there were no 
miscellaneous lectures by gentlemen from a distance. Especially 
in the fifties, courses by many lecturers upon many different 
subjects were in great demand. Let me give the Session of 
1856-57 as an example. In it the list contained no fewer than 
forty-five lectures. Mr. P. E. Dove gave two on " The Field 
Sports of Scotland " ; Captain Bedford Pim, one on " The Arctic 
Regions " ; Mr. Crowder, six on " The Manufacture of Glass and 
Iron " ; Mr. George Brewis, one on " The Songs of Scotland " ; 
Mr. Phillips, two on " The Music of various Nations" ; Mr. P. H. 
Gosse, four on " Marine Zoology " ; Mr. Henry Phillips, two on 
"Music"; Professor Nichol, four on "Astronomy"; Mr. John 
Burne, two on " Drawing " ; Mr. Pepper, six on " Light and 
Chemistry"; Mr. Henry Nicholls, three Dramatic Readings; 
the Rev. Dr. Bruce, four on " Trajan^s Pillar " ; Mr. T. P. Barkas, 
one on "Phonography"; Mr. John Watson, one on "The Moon"; 
Mr. Gerald Massey, four on " Poetic Literature " ; Dr. Dodd, one 
on " The origin of the names of Places, Rivers, and Mountains, 



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particularly in Northumberland " ; and Mr. Hargreaves, one on 
" The Fancies of Science." 

Ah, those were the days of youth, when indigestion, mental 
or physical, was unknown, and the bigger the meal provided the 
better it was liked, especially when quantity and quality were 
alike good. And you will find it well worth your while to go 
steadily through the long list of lectures and lecturers. You will 
find a rare gathering of savants and men of letters, and amongst 
them many great ones besides those already mentioned, such 
as Froude, Morley, Seeley, Owen, Huxley, Rolleston, Fawcett, 
Kinkel, Bryce, Freeman, Creighton, Bishop, Ramsay, Jevons, 
Wallace, and Deutsch. 

The Society which has been able to bring into our city such a 
host of thinkers and workers has deserved well of the community. 
Their names show that for more than half a century the people 
of Newcastle have had the opportunity of listening to the 
leading representatives of the principal divisions of discovery 
and thought, whilst the titles tell how many of the lectures 
delivered to us have taken a permanent place in English 
literature. This branch of work has in late years devolved 
to some extent upon younger societies, all of which are either 
offshoots from this Society, or have received from it sympathetic 
aid and encouragement But the proudest boast of our Society 
is surely that from its own members have come forth a noble 
line of scientific discoverers, who have brought the fruits of 
their researches before it, and that the safety-lamp of George 
Stephenson was followed by Robert Stephenson's boiler im- 
provements ; they, in turn, by Lord Armstrong's hydraulic 
machine and Hugh Lee Pattinson's desilverising process ; and 
in our own day, our townsman and Vice-president, Mr. J. W. 
Swan, introduced here his incandescent electric lamp when few 
scientific men looked upon it as other than a pretty toy. 



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Let me turn now to the accommodation provided for the 
members and their lecturers. 

In the year 1859 the making of the present Lecture-room was 
begun, and it was completed and the room opened in the following 
year. It was (as has already been stated) the timely and hand- 
some gift of our then President, the present Lord Armstrong. 
Those of us who remember the small and inconvenient theatre 
which it replaced, recognise to the full the great boon which the 
new room was to the Society. No doubt that at times it has 
proved inadequate to the accommodation of the audiences which 
have assembled to welcome and listen to men of the highest 
eminence, and on more than one occasion the Town Hall has 
had to be resorted to. But, upon the whole, it has been efficient 
and sufficient for the purposes of this Society, and for scientific, 
educational, or literary objects it has been freely lent to un- 
numbered societies, both such as were of local fame and such as 
boasted a wider scope. 

There are many changes, as years roll on, in the popular 
demand for lectures, and one of the principal duties of the 
Committee which manages such a Society as this is to watch 
the demand, and, noting when and how it alters, to supply to 
the members that which is desired by the great majority. For 
thirty years one or two long courses of scientific lectures in each 
session seems to have satisfied the demand. Then for half a 
century the desire was to have in each session many lectures by 
many lecturers. For a long time the audiences were large, 
were amused or bored, as the case might be, and the cost to the 
Society was comparatively small. Such cost was in no sense 
loss ; it was part of the proper working expenses of the Society. 
But very gradually and very certainly the audiences began to 
diminish. Let us see more exactly what happened. 

The present Lecture-room was opened in 1859, and in 1861 






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the plan of selling season tickets, which were transferable 
amongst the families of members or amongst the teachers in 
schools, was tried with considerable success. In 1865 the new 
room was frequently so crowded that there was great annoyance 
amongst the members who could not obtain admission to their own 
room. It is curious to remember that the great subject of dis- 
cussion was, at that time, the best plan of limiting the attendance 
at the lectures, and that which was resorted to, and which 
proved effectual, was simply doubling the price of admission to 
the more popular lectures. When, in 1866, Mr. J. A. Froude 
gave three lectures upon " The Times of Erasmus and Luther," 
the room was packed full half-an-hour before the time for the 
lecture, and the audience overflowed into the hall, and so crowded 
it and the staircase as to make access to the building from the 
street all but impossible. Some fifteen years afterwards, when 
another distinguished literary man and admirable lecturer gave 
two lectures upon his special subject, it was with great difficulty 
that seventy persons could be induced to listen to them. 

This serious decline of interest in the miscellaneous lectures 
was brought by one of the secretaries before the Annual 
Meeting of the Society held on February 7th, 1882. He read 
a paper which was entitled, "Some account of the lectures 
hitherto delivered in connection with the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, together with a 
suggestion for making them more extensively useful in the 
future," and the meeting ordered the paper to be printed and 
circulated. Fuller allusion will be made to this matter in the 
following chapter, which treats of the Society in relation to 
education in Newcastle. Here I need only say that the ruling 
idea of the paper was that the time had come for the Society to 
revert to the educational courses, not giving up the miscellaneous 
lectures entirely, but largely reducing their number. This idea 



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was taken up and given effect to, and, as I have already 
mentioned, the miscellaneous lectures were abandoned entirely 
in 1888, and were not resumed until 1892. Since then, the 
educational courses have been continued, but some miscellaneous 
lectures have also been given each session and have been fairly 

well attended. 

In the Session 1885-86 an interesting new departure was 
taken in the form of Lectures for young people during the 
Christmas holidays. They were given upon six afternoons. 
Principal Garnett, of the College of Science, leading the way 
with a discourse upon "Faraday and his Discoveries"; Mr. J. S. 
Chippendale, Head Master of the Orphan House School, 
following with two lectures upon "The Breath of Life," and 
Mr. J. T. Dunn, Head Master of the Boys' High School at 
Gateshead, giving three lectures upon " Water." There was a 
numerous attendance, and the audiences were highly apprecia- 
tive. Similar courses were held in the two following sessions, 
and gave the greatest satisfaction, as they were indeed bound to 
do, for they were clear, simple, and forcible, and were admirably 
illustrated. The young auditors paid much attention and 
carried away with them much of what they heard This is 
shown by the following true story. One of the lecturers had 
shown the working of the heart and lungs by an ingenious 
model, which represented the internal structure of the human 
frame with these organs in actual operation. Amongst the 
audience who watched this experiment with keen delight was 
the four-year-old son of a well-known Newcastle gentleman. 
He had a baby sister at home, and when he returned she 
was asleep in her cradle in the nursery. The boy was 
ominously quiet. His nurse at length saw him kneel down by 
the cradle and carefully lay back the clothes which covered the 
sleeping child. She at once challenged him, inquiring what he 



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was doing. " Oh, nurse," he reph'ed, " I'm just going to open 
Baby to see her heart working." With this laudable thirst for 
experimental knowledge he had armed himself with one of his 
father's razors, and was grievously disappointed when he was 
not permitted to complete the interesting experiment. 

There are thus two sides even to the question of scientific 
lectures to children. 

I have now brought the account of the lectures which have 
been delivered before the Society during more than ninety 
years, down to the present time. But, having been a listener to 
them for more than half a century, I may perhaps be par- 
doned if I indulge in a few reminiscences of the past. In the 
means of amusement and instruction, young people have now so 
much choice that they can scarcely understand what the lectures 
meant to us who were young people when the century was half- 
way through. They were, practically, the only things of the 
kind which were available. We had no College, no School of 
Science and Art, no Evening Classes, no Debating Societies. 
They were places and occasions at and upon which we met our 
friends of either sex. Then, at times, there occurred amusing 
little episodes which created much more diversion then than 
they would do in these wise and over-crowded days. In a 
paper read before the Society in March 1859, by Mr. James 
Clephan, for many years an invaluable member of the Committee 
and himself a literary man of conspicuous merit, he tells how 
one evening, when Mr. W^illiam Turner was lecturing upon 
" Mechanics," Mr. Nathaniel John Winch, a useful member of 
the Committee, but short of stature, kindly undertook to perform 
the part of bellows-blower. He was patiently and laboriously 
turning away at his handle, when the lecturer calmly and 
deliberately addressed his audience thus: "And so, ladies and 
gentlemen, all this mighty machinery is made to revolve, as you 



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see," and here he pointed in perfect innocence to his crank and 

his colleague, — "by this simple little winch." And amidst a 
roar of laughter, which astounded and confounded the un- 
conscious lecturer, poor Mr. Winch resumed his seat. 

Then there was the dear old gentleman who must be name- 
less, but who read his learned dreary discourse in a low mono- 
tonous voice, with his manuscript close to his nose, and whose 
short sight and perfect mental absorption did not permit him to 
notice that, after a weary hour and a half, only three auditors 
remained in the hall. How we could ever manage to stop 
him without accident was a serious question, for we feared the 
physical shock which any ordinary method of arousing him 
would occasion. So we gradually turned the gas lower and 
lower, and this brought him to a full stop some quarter of an 
hour after the regular time for closing the building had passed. 
He quietly folded his papers together, bowed to the empty 
benches, and saying, " Ladies and gentlemen, to-morrow evening 
we shall resume the consideration of this subject," left the room. 
But let us come down into more recent times. With what 
pleasure do we recall the beautiful hoary head and wise, witty 
face of our Vice-President, Mr. John Clayton, whose finished 
language, careful enunciation, and polished manners, spake him 
a survival of a grand and rare order of men which has quite 
passed away. What gems of dry humour, and how exquisitely 
felicitous, were the little speeches with which he would propose a 
vote of thanks to a lecturer. I seem still to see the sly twinkle 
of his eye when, after Admiral Collinson's lecture. Captain 
Palmer, the father of Jarrow, made a few observations upon his 
own experience in the land of storms and ice, when, in early 
life and before iron shipbuilding had been dreamed of, he was 
master of a whaling vessel and visited the Arctic regions. Mr. 
Clayton made a short but pregnant speech afterwards, and con- 






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LECTURES. 



eluded, " Nor must we omit In the expression of our gratitude, 
our friend and neighbour, the gallant angler of Baffin's Bay." 

It was not so much the words w^hich were used, althoug-h 
they were always carefully selected, as the manner in which they 
were spoken, which gave them their effect. They came forth 
with a kind of amused hesitancy which cannot be described. The 
most delicious things cannot: they must be heard or seen, for they 
cannot be imagined. The Society lost much when increasing 
years at last succeeded in depriving them of the interest and 
delight of his presence at its meetings, but, to the closing days 
of his ripe and charming old age, he retained a keen and warm 
interest in all its affairs. 

He was more than ninety-eight years old when he died, in 
1890. Newcastle owes much to him in many ways, but perhaps 
most of all because he, at an early date, recognised the common- 
sense, business-like inspiration of Richard Grainger, and was 
chiefly instrumental in enabling him to carry out some portion 
of the gigantic schemes which, if fully realised, would have 
turned the busy little mediaeval town into the most majestic 
city of Europe, and w^hich, even in their incompleteness, have 
left it, for stateliness of street architecture, without a rival in the 
United Kingdom. 

Mr. Clayton was perhaps, next to the high position which 
he held as a local lawyer, most eminent as an antiquarian. 
It was fortunate that a considerable length of that Roman wall 
which has made our county the resort of learned pilgrims from 
all parts of the earth, lay within his extensive domains. It was 
to be measured by miles, and embraced at least three of the 
most important stations. At the time of his death he had been 
a member of this Society for sixty-five years, and an invaluable 
vice-president for fifty-seven years. 

Then we had a strange man w^ho came to lecture to us upon 




JOHN CLAYTON, F.S.A. 



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eluded, " Nor must we omit in the expression of our gratitude, 
our friend and neighbour, the gallant angler of Baffin's Bay." 

It was not so much the words which were used, although 
they were always carefully selected, as the manner in which they 
were spoken, which gave them their effect They came forth 
with a kind of amused hesitancy which cannot be described. The 
most delicious things cannot : they must be heard or seen, for they 
cannot be imagined. The Society lost much when increasing 
years at last succeeded in depriving them of the interest and 
delight of his presence at its meetings, but, to the closing days 
of his ripe and charming old age, he retained a keen and warm 
interest in all its affairs. 

He was more than ninety-eight years old when he died, in 
1890. Newcastle owes much to him in many ways, but perhaps 
most of all because he, at an early date, recognised the common- 
sense, business-like inspiration of Richard Grainger, and was 
chiefly instrumental in enabling him to carry out some portion 
of the gigantic schemes which, if fully realised, would have 
turned the busy little mediaeval town into the most majestic 
city of Europe, and which, even in their incompleteness, have 
left it, for stateliness of street architecture, without a rival in the 
United Kingdom. 

Mr. Clayton was perhaps, next to the high position which 
he held as a local lawyer, most eminent as an antiquarian. 
It was fortunate that a considerable length of that Roman wall 
which has made our county the resort of learned pilgrims from 
all parts of the earth, lay within his extensive domains. It was 
to be measured by miles, and embraced at least three of the 
most important stations. At the time of his death he had been 
a member of this Society for sixty-five years, and an invaluable 
vice-president for fifty-seven years. 

Then we had a strange man who came to lecture to us upon 



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art-subjects, and covered all our great hanging space with 
photographs and Arundel Society publications, and then pro- 
ceeded to address his audience, without taking his eyes off his 
paper, thus : " There was a great painter called Giotto. He was 
born in 1276, and died in 1336, and he painted many beautiful 
pictures in churches and other places." Then, without raising 
his head, but indicating the screen behind him with a backward 
movement of his thumb, " You'll find several specimens there." 
The reader can imagine how, when eight or nine " great painters " 
had been treated of in this exceedingly lucid manner, the 
audience were too busily engaged in speculating upon the 
authorship of the multitude of pictures " there " to listen to the 
slightly monotonous discourse. 

Again, from time to time, certain of the lecturers, notably 
George Dawson and Professor Blackie, singled out individuals 
in the audience and made them the recipients of curiously 
personal criticisms or observations. Leaving his desk, Professor 
Blackie suddenly strode up to the place where quietly sat one of 
the secretaries, who happened to be a member of the Society of 
Friends. Then, apropos des bottes, he burst out, "Now, you, 
you are a man of Peace, a Quaker ; yet if I were to say that 
you are a liar, you would knock me down. Serve me right too;" 
and he returned to his desk with a triumphantly satisfied air, 
whilst his hearers wondered what it was all about. 

One excellent lecturer, a man from a far country, greatly 
puzzled his auditors by constant allusions to " the loafs of the 
goats." What were the goats, and how did they come into the 
subject of the lecture, and what did they do with the loafs ? 
Eat them? But, being interpreted, this mysterious saying 
resolved itself into the Loves of the Gods. 

The lecturers who have had the misfortune to be born in 
the South, and have therefore never learned to talk English, 

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have sometimes been at a considerable disadvantage. I re- 
member one highly-cultured and eloquent man who gave an 
admirable course of lectures, and night after night charmed 
his entire audience. At last, in an evil moment, he ventured to 
quote the concluding lines of "the yell of the Forum," from 
Macaulay*s "Virginia," and the consequences were convulsive. 
It came forth thus — 

" Thou that wouldst mike our midens slives mest ferst mike slives 
of men : 
Twibunes, huwwah for twibunes " 

Neither the quotation nor the lecture were finished. 

But these are not the recollections which crowd most 
quickly and thickly to the mind as it turns back to the 
nights spent in listening to our visitors from a distance. The 
brave, calm face of the fearless seeker after truth; the quiet, 
convincing exposition of some new doctrine; the words of simple 
but thrilling eloquence; the great teaching, the deep and high 
thought, the mighty truths which have been unfolded to us, the 
far-off scenes and times which have been made to live before 
us, — these are what are uppermost in my mind as I think over 
the lectures which we have been privileged to listen to. It is 
good to have looked into the faces, and to have heard the voices, 
of the men who have spoken to us and taught us, by their words 
as by their books, many of the lessons which, in life, we have 
found of the greatest value. 

And let me, in conclusion, sum up in figures the lecturing 
work which the Society has done. In its one hundred and 
three years of existence (up to the end of 1895) nearly three 
thousand lectures have been delivered to ks members. In 72 
of the 92 sessions, since 1803, there have been systematic or 
educational courses of lectures. There have been, in all, 140 



LECTURES. 



259 



courses of this kind, and they have varied in the number of 
lectures in each course from six to thirty. The total sum 
which this Society has expended in this way to meet certain 
of the educational requirements of this district is not less than 
£1^,000, 




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CHAPTER XL 

THi: PART WHICH THE SOCIETY HAS PLAYED IN 
THE PROMOTION OF EDUCATION IN THE CITY 
OF NE WCASTLE. 

HOSE persons who have taken the trouble to glance 
over the earlier chapters of this book must have come 
to the conclusion that the Literary and Philosophical 
Society has deserved well of the public of this district But in 
no department has it rendered such conspicuous service as in 
that of education. From the address delivered by the Rev. 
William Turner when the Society was founded in 1793 to the 
most recent brochure issued by the Committee more than a 
century afterwards, the furthering of education in all, but 
especially in the highest branches, has been held out as one of 
its principal objects ; it is perhaps scarcely too much to say 
that it was, is, and should ever be, its chief raison ditre. 

My last two chapters tell the story of the lectures given in 
connection with the Society, but with one important exception 
which I shall deal with shortly. This part of the Society's 
educational work has gone on steadily for more than ninety 
years, and has been of inestimable value to the town and district. 
Again, in Chapter VH., I have spoken of the services which, at 
a very early date, our Society rendered to the cause of primary 
education. It is not uninteresting to note that it was in the 



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Society's Lecture Room that a valuable movement was set on 
foot by members of the Society to establish exhibitions or 
scholarships from primary to secondary schools; that the 
managers of the fund raised met to conduct the business 
connected with it in the Society's rooms, and that, in them, the 
scholarships were publicly awarded to the successful com- 
petitors. This valuable movement only ceased some twelve 
years ago, when other agencies of a more permanent nature had 
taken up the work. 

But I must trace at some length the endeavours which have 
from time to time been made by the Society to obtain the 
foundation of a College at Newcastle, and which, though quite 
independent of each other, extended over the long space of 
forty years before they were crowned by success. The history 
of a struggle of this kind has an interest which is more than 
local. 

The man who began the great endeavour was a doctor of 
medicine, Thomas Michael Greenhow. He was in large 
practice, and took an active part in the philanthropic and 
political work of the town and district But he was specially 
interested in education in all its branches, and upon the 5th 
April, 1 83 1, he read a paper before this Society which he 
entitled, "The expediency of establishing in Newcastle an 
academical Institution of the nature of a College or University 
for the promotion of Literature and Science, more especially 
amongst the Middle Classes of the Community, briefly con- 
sidered." It was felt to be of so much importance that the 
paper was at once ordered to be printed, circulated amongst 
the members, and more widely distributed. 

In this paper, after general observations upon "the advan- 
tages of mental culture," Mr. Greenhow went on to state that 
it was " a remarkable fact that in no country of Europe were 



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THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



the means of obtaining a liberal and systematic course of 
academic instruction so sparingly supplied to youth as in 
England." He spoke of the difficulties in the way of youths 
of the middle-class at Oxford or Cambridge; the disadvantage 
of their associating in the same schools with those of noble 
birth or of unlimited pecuniary resources; the dissipation and 
temptations of the old-established seats of learning; and the 
patronage on the one hand, and subserviency and humiliating 
dependence on the other, which arose out of college intimacies 
between youths of different ranks and opposite fortunes. 

Where then were the middle ranks to obtain "those ad- 
vantages of education which the general progress of society 
imperatively demands?" London had an institution in active 
and useful operation, but London was far away, and was " the 
last place where a prudent father would be induced to entrust 
a youth from 16 to 18 or 19 years of age in a great degree to 
his own guidance." The Scotch universities were neither so 
distant nor so expensive, but they were local rather than 
national, "and not likely to be extensively resorted to by 
English students for the purposes of general attainments only." 
Then the only thing which remained to be done was to establish 
for ourselves a college or university where a systematic course 
of instruction in the higher branches of classical literature, 
mathematics, and general science, might be accessible to every 
youth in the middle walks of life. 

Mr. Greenhow then went on to show why Newcastle was 
" the most eligible site " for one of " these marts of literature." 
It was the centre and capital of a large and wealthy district, 
and would be convenient to students from several of the 
northern counties. " In proof that the present time is favour- 
able for such an undertaking, I may likewise refer," he said, 
" to the liberal character of the existing ministry " (Lord Grey's, 



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EARL GREY, PRIME MINISTER IN 1832. 



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the means of obtaining a liberal and systematic course of 
academic instruction so sparingly supplied to youth as in 
England." He spoke of the difficulties in the way of youths 
of the middle-class at Oxford or Cambridge; the disadvantage 
of their associating in the same schools with those of noble 
birth or of unlimited pecuniary resources; the dissipation and 
temptations of the old-established seats of learning; and the 
patronage on the one hand, and subserviency and humiliating 
dependence on the other, which arose out of college intimacies 
between youths of different ranks and opposite fortunes. 

Where then were the middle ranks to obtain "those ad- 
vantages of education which the general progress of society 
imperatively demands?" London had an institution in active 
and useful operation, but London was far away, and was " the 
last place where a prudent father would be induced to entrust 
a youth from 16 to 18 or 19 years of age in a great degree to 
his own guidance." The Scotch universities were neither so 
distant nor so expensive, but they were local rather than 
national, "and not likely to be extensively resorted to by 
English students for the purposes of general attainments only." 
Then the only thing which remained to be done was to establish 
for ourselves a college or university where a systematic course 
of instruction in the higher branches of classical literature, 
mathematics, and general science, might be accessible to every 
youth in the middle walks of life. 

Mr. Greenhow then went on to show why Newcastle was 
" the most eligible site " for one of " these marts of literature." 
It was the centre and capital of a large and wealthy district, 
and would be convenient to students from several of the 
northern counties. " In proof that the present time is favour- 
able for such an undertaking, I may likewise refer," he said, 
" to the liberal character of the existing ministry " (Lord Grey's, 




EARL GREY, PRIME MINISTER IN 1 832. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION, 



263 



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and so one of which Newcastle folk might be proud), "and 
their known desire to promote and encourage the progress of 
literature, as circumstances likely to ensure for it the counte- 
nance of government." 

He next discussed some of the stock objections to higher 
education, and the special advantages of it to the merchant as 
well as to young men who proposed to enter the professions of 
law or medicine, and indeed " to all who properly constitute the 
middle ranks of the community." As to the merchants, he said 
that it was both probable and desirable that members of the 
legislature should be frequently chosen from among them. He 
then turned to the coal trade and to the young men preparing 
to discharge the responsible duties connected with it, and 
claimed that this consideration alone " furnished a powerful and 
unanswerable argument in favour of an Academic Establish- 
ment, which could not fail to render more effective and more 
easily attainable the regular scientific education required by 
those concerned in the direction of works of such commercial 
magnitude, and implicating so great hazard to human life." 
Finally, after noticing how favourable a situation Newcastle 
was for "a flourishing and beneficial school of medicine" because 
of "its excellent and extensive hospital, and the numerous 
other medical charities, which might all be made subservient 
to the acquisition of valuable practical knowledge," he claimed 
for his project " the serious consideration of this Society, and of 
the community at large, as an institution which could not 
fail to exert the most beneficial influence over the moral and 
intellectual happiness of the entire mass of population in the 
North of England ; . . . while it would give a great additional 
consequence to, and shed a glory over, a town which is so 
rapidly increasing in extent, in beauty, and in commercial 
importance." 



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This paper was read at a time when the middle-class were 
receiving the most attention. It was of higher education for 
the middle-class that Mr. Greenhow thought, and one of his 
dreams was that from this class, under a new political system 
which was about to be introduced, the parliamentary ranks 
might frequently be recruited. " But that was sixty years ago." 

The suggestions which Mr. Greenhow made excited much 
interest, and upon the 7th June, 1831, he followed the matter 
up by reading a second paper, in which he went into closer 
detail. This was also printed by the Society, and was sold 
amongst the members who were specially interested in the 
subject, and amongst the general public. A Committee was 
also appointed to draw up a prospectus of the proposed College, 
and to issue an address to the public upon the general question. 

But very soon after the last date it was announced that a 
University was about to be started in the City of Durham, and 
there seems to be some reason for supposing that Mr. Greenhow*s 
activity hastened the development of the Durham scheme. A 
Bill was passed through Parliament in 1832 to enable the Dean 
and Chapter of Durham to provide funds for the establishment 
of an University, and it received the royal assent on the 14th 
July of that year. It was opened in October 1833. 

Whether Mr. Greenhow's activity hastened the advent of 
the Durham University or no, " the subsequent announcement 
of a College at Durham" evidently stayed the proceedings of 
the Newcastle Committee. But in their annual report pre- 
sented in February 1832, the General Committee of the Society 
truly say that " the plan of the College there contemplated can 
not be said to have at all superseded the desirableness of an 
Institution like that proposed for Newcastle, since many of the 
objects contemplated by it do not appear to have entered into 
the scheme of the Durham College, particularly the medical 



part of it; and since that Institution is obviously not at all 
calculated for supplying the wants of the resident youth of 
Newcastle." 

Twelve months elapsed before the Special Committee pre- 
sented to a Monthly Meeting of the Society held on the 5th 
June, 1832, the prospectus of a Collegiate Institution, which the 
meeting ordered to be printed and circulated. I shall speak 
more in detail of this document shortly, but the chief idea was 
to start a proprietary College, raising the proposed capital of 
;f 1 5,000 in twenty pound shares. These were to confer the 
right of proprietorship, and might be transferred or bequeathed, 
and they were to carry the right of voting in the election of 
officers, etc., in proportion to the number of shares, ladies voting 
by proxy, and they were also to give the right of nominating 
pupils at lower fees. 

The notion was that but a small capital was required, 
because " it seems highly probable, if not quite certain, that the 
several chairs might be filled by gentlemen resident in New- 
castle, who would be at once competent to undertake the duties 
of professors, and so zealous in the cause as to be induced to do 
so without further pecuniary reward than what might arise 
from the admission fees to their several courses of instruction." 
Mr. Green supplied a plan to accompany the prospectus, and 
estimated that the " elegant and commodious " building it repre- 
sented could be erected for ;f 10,000. This is surprising, for it 
was to contain eight lecture theatres on the ground floor, the 
largest 40 feet by 26 feet, and the smallest 27 feet by 16 feet; 
besides a Writing and Arithmetic class-room, 41 feet by 18 feet; 
two spare rooms, each 26 feet by 15 feet; an apparatus room, 
26 feet square, and a Practical Anatomy room, 41 by 18, with 
the needful offices, etc.; piazzas in front, 338 feet long and 8 feet 
wide; and, on the first floor, libraries, museums, and the like. 



i\ 



266 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



267 



III 



■S\' 



pi 






III 



The general scheme of instruction was to embrace every 
department of literature, and natural and mental science. The 
studies and students were to be divided into general or pre- 
paratory, and specific or professional. The junior classes on the 
general side were to be " initiated in classical and mathematical 
studies, in a knowledge of modern languages, in general history, 
and English literature and composition." The method of in- 
struction was to correspond with that adopted in the High 
School and Academy at Edinburgh, and seems to have included 
the much neglected but useful and gentle art of penmanship. 
The senior classes were to pursue the same studies in their 
higher departments, but the principles of logic and mental 
philosophy were to be added. 

Upon the specific or professional side, instruction was to be 
" communicated in full courses of lectures by competent pro- 
fessors." The prospectus goes on : " They will be comprised in 
the following arrangement — 

1. Political economy. 

2. English law, ethics, and jurisprudence. 

3. Natural philosophy. 

4. Natural history, zoology, and comparative anatomy. 

5. Chemistry, geology, and mineralogy. 

6. Botany, and the physiology of plants. 

The two latter must be considered as constituting a part of the 
course of medical study, which will also comprise : — 

1. Anatomy and physiology. 

2. Principles and practice of surgery. 

3. Principles and practice of medicine. 

4. Materia medica and pharmacy. 

5. Midwifery and diseases of women and children. 

6. Clinical lectures in surgery. 

7. Clinical lectures in medicine." 



Thus the scheme proposed to carry on the work which is at 
the present time being performed by the Royal Grammar School, 
the College of Medicine, and the Durham College of Science. 

The newspapers took the matter up, and, whilst criticising 
many of the details of the scheme, approved heartily of it from 
the general point of view. Prophetically did the Newcastle 
Chronicle write : " The announcement of the proposed College 
at Durham may, in the estimation of some, be thought to 
preclude the necessity of such an institution at Newcastle. We 
must, however, confess that we are not of that number. The 
auspices and influence under which the College at Durham has 
been announced are not what we think will answer the demands 
and wishes of the neighbourhood and the wants of the country. 
The exclusive restrictions which it is intended to impose upon 
the students must prevent a very large mass of the wealthy 
and intelligent classes of the district from taking advantage of 
the instruction it offers; while the influence and profession of 
the individuals by whom it is proposed to be established tend 
strongly to encourage the belief that it will be conducted too 
much for theological objects, and we fear in too clerical a 
spirit, and too much on the plan and in the system of the old- 
established Universities, to answer public expectations, and 
supply the wants and demands of the middle classes of the 
community." 

The article from which I have quoted is of peculiar interest, 
because, while it attacks strongly " the minute labour and high- 
wrought attention which are bestowed, in the old institutions, 
on classical learning, it puts in an earnest plea for that which 
we now call technical education. Utility and applicability to 
the business of life should be, and must be, their chief objects." 
" A glorious field is now open to them. It is a disgrace to the 
country that there exists no institution in it appropriated to 



'I 



t 



I I 



III 



268 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



instruction in those branches of knowledge which are requisite 
to constitute eminence in mechanics, engineering, chemistry, 
and those useful arts which are necessary for the well-being of 
all classes — spread around general happiness and comfort, and 
tend to civilise man. It is from the middle classes, from those 
who feel the want of it, that such an institution must spring ; 
and why should Newcastle not take the initiative in such an 
honourable proceeding. Nowhere is such an institution more 
needed, and nowhere could it be founded in a situation better 
qualified to attain its object than in this, where those branches 
of knowledge are so necessary, and where they can have so 
extensive an application and illustration. It has * means * 
enough for a seminary of the highest worth, let but the * ap- 
pliances ' be meet, and the support adequate, and there can 
be no fear of the result" 

Wise and true words indeed, but we shall see that, when 
half a century had passed away, and when a College in which 
the appliances were meet had been provided, the means for its 
due support were not forthcoming. The chance of being first 
in the field had, indeed, long been lost, and the chance of being 
best seems even now remote. 

A requisition to the Mayor, John Brandling, Esq., to hold a 
town's meeting upon the subject was extensively signed, and, 
on the 24th January, 1833, such a meeting was duly held at 
the Guildhall, under the presidency of the Mayor himself. 
Resolutions were unanimously passed approving of the estab- 
lishment of a College, and a Committee was appointed for the 
purpose of forming the Joint-Stock Company which it was 
proposed should carry it on. The Committee set to work to 
find out what could be done, but its ideal was not sufficiently 
high. It soon " deemed it proper to communicate to the public 
its conviction " that a building could be rented and a start made 



THE SOCIETY AND EDI/CATION 



269 



if a capital of ;^S000 were forthcoming, and that the fees would, 
" on a moderate computation, amply suffice to meet the current 
expenditure of the Institution as well as the payment of the 
interest of the invested capital." 

Such ideas could never bring forth any satisfactory result. 
The reward of those who labour in the cause of higher education 
must not be expected in the form of interest on invested capital. 
It is a mistake to minimise the needs and cost of any educa- 
tional undertaking. Districts differ in the value which they set 
upon such things. In some parts of the country there is more 
public spirit, more readiness to give, than in others. But 
experience teaches that there is nothing but danger and dis- 
appointment in half- measures, and that in matters of this kind 
it is not infrequently easier to raise ;fi'so,ooo than ;f 5000. 

At all events, the ;^5000 was not forthcoming. For whatever 
reason, the scheme did not " catch on," and, notwithstanding the 
extraordinary interest which had been aroused, nothing resulted 
from the thought and labour of years. We find Mr. Greenhow 
reading a paper before the Society in December 1834, on the 
circumstances which still rendered it desirable to attempt an 
Academical Institution in Newcastle for the instruction of its 
youth in the higher branches of education. In October 1835, 
Dr. George Fife brought the matter forward, reading a paper on 
the facilities which Newcastle presented for such an Institution, 
and in March 1 836 he carried a resolution that the Society should 
memorialise the Corporation in favour of an academical institu- 
tion ; and at the same meeting Mr. Greenhow was thanked for his 
long and persevering exertions, and a Committee was formed 
which drew up and presented the memorial, and the Corporation 
appointed an Education Committee. But there the matter 
ended for some years, so far as a College was concerned. 

But Mr. Greenhow made another effort in favour of higher 



., f 



268 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



269 



ii 







instruction in those branches of knowledge which are requisite 
to constitute eminence in mechanics, engineering, chemistry, 
and those useful arts which are necessary for the well-being of 
all classes — spread around general happiness and comfort, and 
tend to civilise man. It is from the middle classes, from those 
who feel the want of it, that such an institution must spring ; 
and why should Newcastle not take the initiative in such an 
honourable proceeding. Nowhere is such an institution more 
needed, and nowhere could it be founded in a situation better 
qualified to attain its object than in this, where those branches 
of knowledge are so necessary, and where they can have so 
extensive an application and illustration. It has * means ' 
enough for a seminary of the highest worth, let but the * ap- 
pliances ' be meet, and the support adequate, and there can 
be no fear of the result" 

Wise and true words indeed, but we shall see that, when 
half a century had passed away, and when a College in which 
the appliances were meet had been provided, the means for its 
due support were not forthcoming. The chance of being first 
in the field had, indeed, long been lost, and the chance of being 
best seems even now remote. 

A requisition to the Mayor, John Brandling, Esq., to hold a 
town's meeting upon the subject was extensively signed, and, 
on the 24th January, 1833, such a meeting was duly held at 
the Guildhall, under the presidency of the Mayor himself. 
Resolutions were unanimously passed approving of the estab- 
lishment of a College, and a Committee was appointed for the 
purpose of forming the Joint-Stock Company which it was 
proposed should carry it on. The Committee set to work to 
find out what could be done, but its ideal was not sufficiently 
high. It soon " deemed it proper to communicate to the public 
its conviction " that a building could be rented and a start made 



if a capital of £yyx> were forthcoming, and that the fees would, 
" on a moderate computation, amply suffice to meet the current 
expenditure of the Institution as well as the payment of the 
interest of the invested capital." 

Such ideas could never bring forth any satisfactory result 
The reward of those who labour in the cause of higher education 
must not be expected in the form of interest on invested capital. 
It is a mistake to minimise the needs and cost of any educa- 
tional undertaking. Districts differ in the value which they set 
upon such things. In some parts of the country there is more 
public spirit, more readiness to give, than in others. But 
experience teaches that there is nothing but danger and dis- 
appointment in half-measures, and that in matters of this kind 
it is not infrequently easier to raise ;£"50,ooo than ;f 5000. 

At all events, the ;f 5000 was not forthcoming. For whatever 
reason, the scheme did not " catch on," and, notwithstanding the 
extraordinary interest which had been aroused, nothing resulted 
from the thought and labour of years. We find Mr. Greenhow 
reading a paper before the Society in December 1834, on the 
circumstances which still rendered it desirable to attempt an 
Academical Institution in Newcastle for the instruction of its 
youth in the higher branches of education. In October 1835, 
Dr. George Fife brought the matter forward, reading a paper on 
the facilities which Newcastle presented for such an Institution, 
and in March 1836 he carried a resolution that the Society should 
memorialise the Corporation in favour of an academical institu- 
tion ; and at the same meeting Mr. Greenhow was thanked for his 
long and persevering exertions, and a Committee was formed 
which drew up and presented the memorial, and the Corporation 
appointed an Education Committee. But there the matter 
ended for some years, so far as a College was concerned. 

But Mr. Greenhow made another effort in favour of higher 



1 1 



)l 





270 THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION, 

education, which, although unsuccessful, proved how much he 
was in advance of his time. In March 1838 he carried 
resolutions that full and systematic courses of lectures in Mathe- 
matical and Mechanical Science, in Chemistry, and in Geology 
and Mineralogy, with a view more especially to the instruction 
of persons intended for civil and mining engineers, should be 
instituted, the Lecturers being appointed by the Society, and 
having the use of the Lecture Room and philosophical appa- 
ratus, but being paid only from the moderate fees actually 
received. Advertisements were to be inserted in the Newcastle 
and Gateshead newspapers requesting persons desirous to under- 
take the duties of Lecturers to send in applications to a Lecture 
Committee, which would settle all details subject to the approba- 
tion of the Society at a General Meeting. 

In the report presented at the Annual Meeting in February 
1840, the Committee remark that nothing has been done to 
carry out these resolutions. " Your Committee, however, have 
learnt with great satisfaction that the subject has been taken up 
by the University of Durham, where regular college instructions 
are afforded to students in those branches." 

Poor, easily-satisfied Committee ! For all practical purposes, 
so far as the Newcastle students were concerned, such college 
instructions might as well have been given in the moon. 

Indeed, in October of that very year Mr. Greenhow seems to 
have had doubts of the probability of any action on the part ot 
the University of Durham, for he again read a paper on the 
expediency of establishing a Collegiate Institution in Newcastle, 
and at the following Monthly Meeting, assisted by Mr. Joseph 
Watson, the Rev. D. C. Browning, and Mr. Fenwick, he carried 
a series of resolutions on the subject Again there was a Com- 
mittee appointed to confer with the Town Council, and other 
bodies were invited to assist, and this Society's rooms were 




u| 




T. M. GREENHOW. 



ir-IL 



i 



II 






270 THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 

education, which, although unsuccessful, proved how much he 
was in advance of his time. In March 1838 he carried 
resolutions that full and systematic courses of lectures in Mathe- 
matical and Mechanical Science, in Chemistry, and in Geology 
and Mineralogy, with a view more especially to the instruction 
of persons intended for civil and mining engineers, should be 
instituted, the Lecturers being appointed by the Society, and 
having the use of the Lecture Room and philosophical appa- 
ratus, but being paid only from the moderate fees actually 
received. Advertisements were to be inserted in the Newcastle 
and Gateshead newspapers requesting persons desirous to under- 
take the duties of Lecturers to send in applications to a Lecture 
Committee, which would settle all details subject to the approba- 
tion of the Society at a General Meeting. 

In the report presented at the Annual Meeting in February 
1840, the Committee remark that nothing has been done to 
carry out these resolutions. "Your Committee, however, have 
learnt with great satisfaction that the subject has been taken up 
by the University of Durham, where regular college instructions 
are afforded to students in those branches." 

Poor, easily-satisfied Committee! For all practical purposes, 
so far as the Newcastle students were concerned, such college 
instructions might as well have been given in the moon. 

Indeed, in October of that very year Mr. Greenhow seems to 
have had doubts of the probability of any action on the part of 
the University of Durham, for he again read a paper on the 
expediency of establishing a Collegiate Institution in Newcastle, 
and at the following Monthly Meeting, assisted by Mr. Joseph 
Watson, the Rev. D. C. Browning, and Mr. Fenwick, he carried 
a series of resolutions on the subject. Again there was a Com- 
mittee appointed to confer with the Town Council, and other 
bodies were invited to assist, and this Society's rooms were 




T. M. GREENHOW. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION, 



271 



\\ 




I 




offered " for the purposes of the said projected Academy until 
other accommodation shall be obtained." Nothing of a practical 
kind was done in the matter, but Mr. Greenhow was not dis- 
couraged. In 1844 he read a paper advocating compulsory- 
National Education. In 1845 he returned to the question of 
a collegiate institution for Newcastle, pointing out "that the 
means of education for the middle classes were inadequate in 
this district, in science, and in the higher departments of science 
and literature, especially that branch of science which related to 
mining. Every day the operations of mining were growing 
more difficult and complicated, therefore means should be pro- 
vided to educate those who have the management of such 
operations up to the necessities of the situations in which they 
would be placed, more especially as regards human life and the 
investment of capital." 

On Mr Greenhow's motion the Government was appealed 
to, a memorial being presented to Sir James Graham by a 
Committee appointed for the purpose. The answer received, 
although not exactly favourable, did not preclude the hope of 
future assistance. The above-named Committee determined, 
however, to memorialise the Queen herself on the subject, which 
was done, and since then the matter seems to have rested. But 
once again did Mr. Greenhow bring it forward, reading the only 
paper contributed to the Monthly Meetings in 1849, and upon 
his pet project. By this time he had come to the conclusion 
that much more money would be required, if the project were to 
succeed, than he had at first considered necessary. He died in 
1850, eighteen years in advance of his time, but he had done 
a good work. The cause of his failure was that he had looked 
too much, latterly, to help from the Corporation or the Govern- 
ment, and did not make a beginning, however humble. 

And now, excepting the annual courses of lectures already 



ii .1 i. 



I^i 



I. 



• 



!\ 





272 THE SOCIETY AND EDUCA TION. 

fully described, nothing specially educational was done by or in 
the Society for fifteen years. Then an eminently practical step 
forward was taken. In the Session 1863-64, the Rev. James 
Snape, always in the front in matters of this kind, gave a 
course of six lectures on " The Philosophy of Mathematics," and 
Mr. J. F. Spencer a course of eight on " Mechanical Engineer- 
ing"; and in that of 1866-67 Professor Freire Marreco gave a 
course of twelve upon ** Chemistry." But the great impulse 
towards a more systematic endeavour at higher education came 
from personal intercourse with one of the most suggestive and 
stimulating minds of our time, Professor (the late Sir) J. JR. 
Seeley. He gave three lectures to the Society on " Milton " in 
December 1867, and, in one of the many invaluable private 
conversations which those who knew him look back to as of 
infinite worth, he asked his listener, already specially interested 
in such matters, " why not start a College for Newcastle ?" 

The idea took root, and some correspondence with certain 
of the professors at Durham followed, both by letter and per- 
sonal interview. It was thought that help would come most 
naturally from those persons in the neighbouring city who were 
actually engaged in the work of high education. But they at 
first received the proposals made to them somewhat coldly, which 
was right and natural, for they were not backed up by any Society 
or Committee, but were simply those of an obscure individual. 
At length they said, "If it is proved to our satisfaction that 
there is a demand for high education in Newcastle,>ven if it be 
of that kind which, as has been laid before us, must be chiefly 
given in the evenings, we shall be prepared to take the matter 
up seriously, and to bring it before the Senate of the University." 
Then the next thing to be done was to provide the proof 

At a general Monthly Meeting of the Society held on the 
3rd March, 1868, a paper was read entitled "A plan for making 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



273 



the Society more extensively useful as an educational Institu- 
tion." It had been prepared, as the writer explained, quite 
independently and without any knowledge of the earlier 
endeavours which I have already described. The writer began 
by describing the systems of education adopted in France and 
Germany respectively, and comparing them with the want, the 
entire want of system which at that time prevailed in our own 
country from primary teaching to that of the Universities. He 
explained fully what had been done at Owen's College in Man- 
chester, advocating that whilst we should not be able to begin 
upon so great a scale, yet our aims should be as high. We 
should exclude no one because of sex or social position, and 
should contemplate every branch of learning. What we wanted 
was to move the University of Durham bodily to Newcastle, 
and slightly to modify its constitution. "I advocate neither 
more nor less than the establishment amongst us of a College, 
where instruction of a high and liberal kind in every branch 
of learning should be given to all who can and will avail them- 
selves of it." 

If the thing were to be begun properly, a large sum of 
money would be required at the very outset. " The only safe 
and sound plan is to endow the professors* chairs as you found 
them. This will require a large sum, because the professors 
must be men who will devote their lives to their subjects, the 
best men who can be obtained ; and if we want such, we must 
make it worth their while to come and settle in this east wind 
land. Beyond their value as teachers, there would surely be a 
gain to us in having added to the few men who are still 
amongst us of * the salt of the earth/ others whose presence in 
our town would give to it a character and tone, for the absence 
of which no material prosperity can compensate. A little 
leaven leaveneth the whole lump." 

18 



274 THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 

The writer went on to explain that he had brought this 
subject forward because of some dissatisfaction amongst the 
members with the position held by the Society, and much desire 
that it should exert the power for good which was latent in it 
" Compared with what it once was, as a Society it is dead." 
The idea was that the Library and Lecture-room might be 
made of much more general use. " We have here (and they 
had not in Manchester) ready made to our hand in this and the 
neighbouring Societies, many of the requisites of such an 
institution, enough to keep it in active work for many years to 
come, with very little new building and very little alteration in 
the old. We have, first of all, upon our own premises, an 
excellent collection of books, which could at comparatively 
small expense, without altering our present character as a 
Lending Library, but with the assistance of men thoroughly 
competent to undertake the several branches, be made an 
admirable Library of Reference. We have a Lecture Room so 
good that I never enter it without a feeling of regret that it 
should only be used on thirty to forty evenings out of each 
three hundred and sixty-five ; and we have a large space of 
vacant ground, of use to no one but an eyesore to everybody, 
which, at but little cost, might be covered with class-rooms and 
reading-rooms, giving instruction and wisdom, the best and 
truest happiness, to numbers of earnest men and women. We 
must not forget how this centre of desolation is surrounded. 
It is hemmed in on all sides by learned Societies with objects 
kindred to our own. First, we have the Natural History Society 
with its noble museum, an honour to the North of England, but 
requiring extension, and which would be a fortune to any 
college in the world. With it we must take into account its 
powerful and important ally, the Field Club, with its five 
hundred members, perhaps the most living Society in the 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 275 

district. Then comes the Medical School, which has its own 
class-room, laboratory, and museum, and is closely allied to the 
University of Durham. . . . This school, managed as it is by 
men who belong to a profession more enlightened than any 
other on this matter of education, we may confidently look to 
for sympathy and co-operation in any work which has for its 
object higher and better culture ; and some of the classes which 
are now so ably taught there, and which deal with subjects of 
general interest, might readily be made available for general 
students. Coming round, we have that influential and active 
body, the Mining Institute, perhaps the wealthiest Society to 
which we can appeal for support ; and we must not forget the 
quiet, unostentatious, but most useful School of Art, which has 
for many years done good work in an effectual way. But be- 
sides these societies, which are collected together here, and which, 
if working together, have so many of the most important imple- 
ments which a College needs, there are others outside anxious 
and striving for better education in their respective specialities • 
and they would, no doubt, gladly co-operate in the formation 
of such an institution as would, amongst other good things, 
afford them this. I may mention that fraternity to which we 
owe more mental and bodily pleasure and comfort (or, at times, 
the reverse!) perhaps than any other, the Architectural Asso- 
ciation, and I may also mention the lovers of the sadly neglected 
art of Music, for both of these have been moving in the question 
of higher and better education in their own walks." 

The writer went on to explain that he did not in any way 
advocate the destruction or vital alteration of any society, or 
any interference with funds, etc., but simply that each should be 
ready to contribute its quota to the common cause. He pointed 
to the character of the time, one of intellectual awakening, of a 
searching and inquiring present giving promise of a fuller and 



<< 



276 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION, 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



277 



wiser future. "With these things going on around us we 
cannot stand aside. Education,— higher, deeper, wider educa- 
tion,— humbling yet ennobling all,— must come and will come. 
The question for England to-day is,— in high thought, in true 
culture, in the better part of life,— will it hold its own amongst 
the nations of the earth,— knowing that, if it fail in these, the 
things which are lower will be lost with them; and for us, men 
of Newcastle, are we ready and willing to do our part in this 
high and holy labour for the common weal !" 

We must remember that these words were spoken twenty- 
eight years ago; that there was then no general system of 
primary education; the only secondary school in Newcastle and 
Gateshead was the Royal Grammar School; there was no 
College of Science, no University Extension lectures, no Science 
and Art classes, no recognition of Dissenters at the old Univer- 
sities, no High Schools or Colleges for Women. We were 
indeed standing on the threshold of great things, but who could 
be certain of their speedy advent in that deep darkness which 
precedes the dawn. 

The meeting was largely attended, and was presided over by 
Dr. Bruce. Mr. T. P. Barkas moved, and Mr. Joseph Cowen, jua, 
seconded, "That the present Executive Committee of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, be respectfully 
requested to constitute themselves a preliminary committee for 
the purpose of considering the suggestions contained in the 
paper read by Mr. R. S. Watson, to inquire into the state of 
middle-class education in the North of England, to suggest a 
collegiate plan of middle-class education somewhat analogous 
to that of Owen*s College in Manchester, and to ascertain the 
amount of pecuniary support likely to be obtained in furtherance 
of such a project." This resolution was carried unanimously; 
there was some expression of opinion as to the value and need 



of the movement, and then, as many members wished to have 
time to consider the paper fully, it was resolved to print it and 
to take it into further consideration at an adjourned meeting. 
This was accordingly done, and the adjourned meeting was 
held on the 7th April, 1 868. 

The Committee then reported that they were prepared to 
recommend that the proposed college should have the use 
of the lecture-room and reference library upon terms to be 
arranged, and that if in the meantime a sufficient number of 
students should be obtained to commence classes in any given 
department of literature or science, every facility should be 
given to such classes. 

An appendix to the former paper was read, advocating that 
this Society should at once make an experiment in the way of 
evening courses of lectures of an educational character, to be 
followed by examinations. In answer to certain objections on 
the score of the proximity of the Scottish Universities, the 
writer replied that they did not wish classes for those who could 
attend the Scotch Universities, but for those who must get 
their higher education after seven o'clock at night. This idea 
being approved, the Committee speedily received offers from 
seven gentlemen who were willing to take part in the work, and 
arrangements were made for six courses of twenty-five lectures 
each, commencing in October 1868, and terminating in May 
1869. They were : — 

7uesdays,—CiizmsTKY (Mr. Marreco), lyi to 8>^ p.m. in the 

lecture-room of the College of Medicine. 
English Language and Literature (Mr. Spence 

Watson), 7^ to 8>^ in the Society's Committee 

Room. 
Engineering (Mr. Jacob Wallau), 8^ to 9j^ in the 

Society's Lecture Room. 



278 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



f'i 



Ihitrsdays. — Mathematics (Mr. T. Dobson, assisted by Mr. 

W. Lyall)— Junior Class, 7>^ to 8j4 in the 
Society's Committee Room. 
Senior Class, 8J^ to 9j^ in the Society's Com- 
mittee Room. 
Music (Mr. W. Rea and Mr. F. Hehnore), 3>^ to 
4^ P.M. and 7}^ to 8J^ in the Society's Lecture 
Room. 

At the Annual Meeting held in February 1869, Dr. Bruce 
spoke of the origin of the scheme and its success, and said that 
he felt sure that it would, ere long, prove the nucleus of a 
Newcastle University. A letter was read from the writer of the 
papers, in which he explained that when he brought the matter 
forward he had not calculated on more than 60 to 80 students 
in all, but there had been 230.* He pleaded for an extension 
of the courses, so as to embrace the whole range of subjects 
required by the matriculation examination of the University of 
London, and for some guarantee of their permanence, so that 
the examination might be held here. 

In the following session the classes were continued, the 
Rev. Dr. Snape taking one in Greek. The work began to be 
recognised outside. The Committee of the Early English Text 
Society examined the replies to the Examination papers in the 
English Class and awarded valuable prizes to the successful 
students. Not only were terminal and sessional examinations 
held, but a part of each evening was devoted to replying to 
questions asked by students, and subjects for essays or printed 
questions were given out weekly and the replies carefully 
corrected and returned to the students. In the monthly publi- 
cation which he edited at that time. Professor Seeley had, in 

* Wlien the experiment of evening classes was first made at Owen's 
College, Manchester, they had only ninety-two students. 



i 
. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



279 



April 1868, warmly commended the project of the paper. In 
October 1868, after speaking of the character of the proposed 
lectures, his paper says : " We heartily wish the scheme success. 
Newcastle is in fact constructing a University. There is no 
reason in the world why many such schemes should not be 
devised and attempted. Why should not other provincial 
towns essay something for their own intellectual culture ? Can 
no similar good thing come out of Liverpool, for example? 
Anything so brilliant cannot be generally looked for, but some 
modest effort might be made. Whatever the success of the 
Newcastle scheme, the idea is noble. The dimensions of the 
plan may have to be reduced next year, but we trust the plan 
itself will not soon become extinct It deserves to live and to 
prosper." 

Those kind words awaken some sad recollections and reflec- 
tions. Newcastle has failed to hold its pride of place. The 
struggle indeed was a severe one, but the plan never became 
extinct It was full of life when the College of Science came 
into existence, and that College took up the struggle and waged 
it with conspicuous success and against the greatest difficulties. 
There have been grand teachers and a host of students. Only 
in this Northern district there have been no wealthy men to do 
for higher education what the rich men in Manchester, Liver- 
pool, Dundee, or Glasgow have done, or what is now being 
done at Aberdeen. 

Let me continue the story of the struggle. In the year 1 870 
the Social Science Association held its meeting in Newcastle, 
and the results of the effort which was being made to establish 
high education here were made known to them in a paper 
which explained exactly what had been done up to that time. 
It then raised the question how this movement was to be 
extended and made permanent The writer looked to the old 






28o 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



universities with hope for an answer, and, with all diffidence and 
reserve, pointed out that the State did not receive from them as 
much practical aid as it ought to do. The greatest loss was in 
college fellowships, which were rewards quite out of proportion 
to any services rendered. " Fellows are highly-trained men, who 
receive their fellowships as rewards of intellectual distinction, 
who draw a certain yearly emolument for services which they 
have rendered to themselves, but who, although frequently 
young and generally capable, are not required to do anything 
further in return for those emoluments. . . . These fellows are 
the very men who are wanted, if they could only be stationed 
in small bodies in different large towns and required to teach, 
instead of being retained in large bodies in two small towns, 
and permitted to do nothing. Say, for example, that a fellow 
was required to spend the first three or five years of his fellow- 
ship in teaching in some large town in which his university had 
formed a local college; that such town were required to add to 
the amount usually paid to each fellow one half more, and that 
he also received a portion of the fees. No more is wanted. No 
building is necessary. In every large town there are plenty of 
rooms to be had, and we have had the example in Germany of 
large universities being conducted without — a university, like a 
church, being the people who gather together, not the building 
in which they gather. I need only indicate the great, if indirect, 
benefit that it would be to our large towns to have a number of 
men dwelling in them, holding a high position, but not engaging 
in the mere pursuit of wealth. They would exercise a leavening 
influence of incalculable benefit, and they would gain by that 
actual knowledge of their fellow-men, which we who regard the 
operations of university men afar off sometimes think is their 
greatest want at present." 

With the Newcastle classes there had been many difficulties. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



281 



The fee for twenty-five lectures had at first been fixed at half 
a guinea, but that sum was too great for nearly all working 
men. It was reduced, and we found that, although the total 
number of students fell off after the first session, we had 
amongst those who came many working men. As a matter of 
fact, the lecturers practically gave their services. For example, 
the master of a county grammar school, a Cambridge man, a 
high wrangler, travelled twenty miles each way to his two 
classes every week, gave forty lectures in the session and 
corrected his exercises, and received in all £11 17s. 6d., out of 
which he had to pay his railway fare and night's accommoda- 
tion. The wonder was that any movement which could only 
boast such slender resources should have any vitality at all. 

The paper concluded with urging the old universities to be 
truly the heads and directors of our national education, and with 
the wish that the writer might be " spared to see the day when 
the best teaching in England is open and at the door of every 
English man and English woman who cares to have it." 

As there was a desire expressed that the matter should 
receive further consideration than the time at the disposal of 
the Association allowed for it, the paper was read again in 
January 187 1, at a special meeting held by the Society of Arts 
in London. 

But the discussions which followed the paper were, in both 
cases, barren, and those who were looking for help and counsel 
got little of either. And yet men who were true educationists 
approved of what was being done and gave the work much 
valuable encouragement; prominent amongst them was the 
well-known Professor of Economic Science in the University 
of Edinburgh, Dr. W. B. Hodgson. And the task of keeping 
the work alive was a hard one, for the men who lectured had to 
lead double lives, working at their professions in the day and 



282 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



toiling at their teaching, or the many matters connected there- 
with, during the night. But that was at hand of which they 
knew nothing, but which promised them relief, and the promise 
was kept. Let me now show what it was which was the 
immediate cause of the University of Durham taking action in 
the establishment of a Science College at Newcastle. 

I have mentioned, in speaking of George Stephenson's 
experiments with the safety-lamp, and of its exhibition to the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, that he was accompanied 
and assisted by his friend Nicholas Wood, the son of a Tyneside 
farmer, but educated for the profession of a colliery viewer. In 
that profession he attained absolute pre-eminence, becoming 
the President of the North of England Institute of Mining 
Engineers and Chairman of the Mining Association of Great 
Britain. The Wood Memorial Hall in the Mining Institute's 
building in Neville Street was erected in his honour, and the 
statue which it contains carries down to futurity a fair possi- 
bility of forming some idea of the personal appearance of this 
remarkable man. He was an educational enthusiast, and in 
1854, within two years of the formation of the Institute, he 
urged upon its Council the necessity of providing a Mining 
College for the systematic training of young men for the mining 
profession. The idea was eagerly seized upon ; a report was 
prepared upon the matter and discussed at a special General 
Meeting, and was printed for circulation among the members. 
It recommended the establishment in this city of a College of 
Mining and Manufacturing Science. This report was also 
brought by Mr. Wood before the General Committee of the 
Coal Trade of the kingdom meeting in London, and there 
the idea of a National College seems to have been broached. 
Negotiations were entered into with the principal landed pro- 
prietors of the district, the royalty owners and coal owners, and 




NICHOLAS WOOiD, C.E., F.R.S. 



282 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



toiling at their teaching, or the many matters connected there- 
with, during the night. But that was at hand of which they 
knew nothing, but which promised them relief, and the promise 
was kept. Let me now show what it was which was the 
immediate cause of the University of Durham taking action in 
the establishment of a Science College at Newcastle. 

I have mentioned, in speaking of George Stephenson's 
experiments with the safety-lamp, and of its exhibition to the 
Literary and Philosophical Society, that he was accompanied 
and assisted by his friend Nicholas Wood, the son of a Tyneside 
farmer, but educated for the profession of a colliery viewer. In 
that profession he attained absolute pre-eminence, becoming 
the President of the North of England Institute of Mining 
Engineers and Chairman of the Mining Association of Great 
Britain. The Wood Memorial Hall in the Mining Institute's 
building in Neville Street was erected in his honour, and the 
statue which it contains carries down to futurity a fair possi- 
bility of forming some idea of the personal appearance of this 
remarkable man. He was an educational enthusiast, and in 
1854, within two years of the formation of the Institute, he 
urged upon its Council the necessity of providing a Mining 
College for the systematic training of young men for the mining 
profession. The idea was eagerly seized upon ; a report was 
prepared upon the matter and discussed at a special General 
Meeting, and was printed for circulation among the members. 
It recommended the establishment in this city of a College of 
Mining and Manufacturing Science. This report was also 
brought by Mr. Wood before the General Committee of the 
Coal Trade of the kingdom meeting in London, and there 
the idea of a National College seems to have been broached. 
Negotiations were entered into with the principal landed pro- 
prietors of the district, the royalty owners and coal owners, and 




I 'I 



NICHOLAS WOOD, C.E., F.R.S. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



283 



M 



were kept up actively through 1855 and 1856. A memorial 
was presented to Her Majesty's Government upon the subject 
and another to the Charity Commissioners, who were asked to 
appropriate a portion of the funds of the Virgin Mary Hospital 
of Newcastle to the purposes of the proposed Institution. It 
was then resolved to introduce a Bill into Parliament for the 
establishment and endowment of the College, and the Bill 
seems to have been duly drafted. From May 1857 to 1859 
no further step seems to have been taken, but the matter was 
then brought before the authorities of Durham University, and 
got no further. 

In November 1869 the Mining Institute appointed a Com- 
mittee, the Mayor of Newcastle being a member of it, to confer 
with the Durham authorities " upon the practicability of extend- 
ing the usefulness of the University by organising, in connection 
with this body, a system of scientific education in the North of 
England for the instruction of young men destined for the 
mining or manufacturing professions." This time the attempt 
succeeded. By 1871, largely owing to the enlightened view 
of the matter taken by Dean Lake,* it had been resolved to 
establish a College of Physical Science at Newcastle; a tem- 
porary home was found in the Mining Institute; this Society 
lent its Lecture-room and apparatus, and gave students special 
facilities for study, and merged its own educational work in that 
of the new Institution, with results that were for many years the 
reverse of satisfactory. It was not easy for those who were 
deeply imbued with educational traditions, received in places 
devoted to education alone, to appreciate the entirely different 
needs of a great centre of actual life. 

* Dean Lake was at this time Warden of the University, and was of 
the greatest benefit to the movement, which the University itself generously 
assisted and continues to assist. 



284 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



285 



li 



l! ■' 



I 



The gentlemen who took an active part in the starting of 
the new college were, for the most part, University men who 
looked upon evening lectures as amusing or informing, but 
certainly not as educational. The evening classes for 1871-72 
were indeed held at the Literary and Philosophical Society, but 
as College classes, and this Society gave, and has continued to 
give, every assistance in its power to the College. Although it 
was to be a Science College, yet there was from the first the 
clear understanding that the title should relate only to that 
which the more wealthy and influential of the founders desired 
to be the first branch of learning to which the resources placed 
at its disposal should be applied. The way was to be left open 
for the introduction of an Arts side when it was thought that the 
proper time had come. 

And so the Literary and Philosophical Society handed over 
its evening work to the College of Science. It is needless to 
tell here in any detail how that evening work was treated in a 
spiritless and sceptical manner, how suitable advertising and 
publicity generally were held not to be " academic," how it was 
supposed that the true knowledge of Latin and Greek was the 
gift of fortune, but that the English language and literature 
came by nature, and how it languished and gradually died out 

I must not leave this part of my subject without mentioning 
the fact that, in the Sessions 1882-83, and 1894-95 courses of 
six lectures each were delivered by Dr. J. T. Merz, which were 
designed to serve as an introduction to the study of Mental 
Philosophy. Newcastle may properly be congratulated on the 
fact that one who is so rarely endowed, at once as a scholar and 
a teacher, has taken up his home in it. 

Let us pass on to the next great educational work to which 
our Society devoted itself. 

The old need of educational lectures delivered in the 



evening soon made itself strongly felt, and an Industrial 
Evening College had been organised on the plan which our 
Society had already followed, and was about to be started, when 
communications were entered into with the syndicate of the 
University of Cambridge which had charge of the University 
Extension Lectures. Although the early communications were 
made by a member of this Society, who was advised and assisted 
by Mr. Albert Grey,* the preliminary steps were taken without 
the Society or the College being consulted. Indeed, when the 
Council of the College was asked at a subsequent period to take 
the matter up it declined to be connected with it, upon the 
ground that it was a Radical dodge. The first meeting in 
connection with this new departure was held in the Lecture 
Room of the Society on September loth, 1879. It was a small 
gathering, but a successful effort had been made to ensure that 
it should be representative. Mr. W. M. Moorsom attended as 
representing the University Syndicate, and the Co-operative 
Society. Trade Council, Working Men's Club, and some of the 
larger Unions had their leaders present. It was resolved to 
introduce the movement to this district. That winter the first 
course of lectures was given by Mr. W. M. Moorsom upon 
" Political Economy," and was greatly appreciated. North and 
South Shields and Sunderland joined in the undertaking, and 
very shortly several of the centres of mining industry took the 
matter up with eagerness. There was no lack of students; 
indeed I doubt whether in the history of education there has 
ever been anything to compare with the numbers, especially of 
working men, who came forward eager to learn. At one time 
there were more than 1300 students in a colliery district 
boasting a population of igjooo men, women, and children. 
All classes alike were anxious to benefit by the lectures. At 

* Now Earl Grey. 



286 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



287 



the final examination held at the end of the first Session in the 
four Northern towns I have mentioned, the most successful 
student was a working man, the second was the daughter of a 
Northern M.P. 

Dean Lake took an active interest in the movement almost 
from the first, and, through him, the lectures were called 
" Cambridge and Durham University Extension Lectures," but, 
after 1882, Durham ceased to assist in them in any way. 

It must be clearly understood that there was no playing at 
education in this University Extension movement It was 
genuine, honest, good work as far as it went. It is absurd 
to suppose that an exhaustive knowledge of any subject can be 
given in twelve, twenty-four, or indeed any number of lectures. 
But even more absurd is the position of those who scfoff at such 
a course as useless or even worse than useless. The men whom 
Cambridge sent down to us were men with strong convictions, 
filled with that enthusiasm of humanity which is the privilege of 
a generous early manhood, imbued with a living knowledge of 
their subject and a burning desire to impart that knowledge to 
others. They were the missionaries of higher education filled 
with the proselytising spirit. Each lecturer issued a complete 
syllabus which gave the chief heads of each lecture. Each 
lecture was preceded by a class, which had the privilege of 
heckling the lecturer for an hour, consulting the living book 
upon points in preceding lectures or met with in that study 
which should accompany all attendance at lectures, or dis- 
cussing difficulties propounded by the lecturer himself. The 
class was followed by an hour's lecture. Questions upon the 
ground covered were given out, to which answers in writing 
were to be sent to the lecturer during the week, and he returned 
them duly corrected, and from them he ascertained how far he 
was attaining the end aimed at. He advised upon the course 



of reading by which the lectures could be most usefully supple- 
mented, and at the end of each course a written examina- 
tion was held by some examiner specially selected for the 
purpose. 

At the Annual Meeting of this Society held on February 7th, 
1882, a paper was read by the Senior Secretary, entitled, "Some 
account of the lectures hitherto delivered in connection with the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
together with a suggestion for making them more extensively 
useful in the future." The object of the writer was to point out 
that the earliest idea of lectures in connection with the Society 
was an educational one. Miscellaneous lectures gradually crept 
in, and were for a time successful ; but the tide had turned, and 
it had become difficult to keep up the supply of lecturers of true 
eminence, and even more difficult to find them an audience. 
At the same time the University Extension courses, given in the 
same room by consent of the Society, were crowded. Popular 
taste had evidently changed. The membership in the Society 
was decreasing, and was actually smaller than it had been since 
1859, ^"d although the money spent upon lectures was not loss, 
for without lectures the membership would be yet smaller, still 
so much money could no longer be spent upon them. The 
proposal now made by the writer of the paper was that there 
should be educational courses of lectures in the autumn and 
spring of each year, one of these being scientific and the other 
literary. These should be provided, and the work should be 
carried on in thorough harmony with the University Extension 
Committee. There should be no serious change in the method 
of conducting them. " The University Extension lectures for 
Newcastle are now given in the Society's lecture-room ; my 
proposition is that they should become the Society's lectures." 
This was not to ititerfere with the engagement of eminent men 



f>\ 



t 



288 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



when thought desirable or with lectures by members of the 
Society. 

The paper closed with the motion, " That the Committee to 
be appointed to-night endeavour to arrange for two systematic 
courses of lectures during the next session, in connection with 
the University Extension movement," and it was carried nem 
con. The courses were arranged for, and continued to be given 
with good though varying success up to 1887, when a scheme 
was brought by the Senior Secretary before the Annual Meeting 
for an extension of this kind of work. 

It was proposed that the Society should take into its counsel 
in this matter the College of Science, now anxious to participate 
in the benefits of the work which it had once rejected. New- 
castle would then be affiliated as a University Extension Centre 
to the University of Cambridge ; two courses in science and two 
in arts would be given in each session ; students, who passed 
successfully two courses in arts or science and six courses in 
the other class obtained the title of Associate direct from 
Cambridge, and were entitled to certain privileges if they after- 
wards proceeded to the University. The scheme was adopted, 
and Newcastle was the first place in the United Kingdom to be 
affiliated to the old University of Cambridge. 

In the Session 1888-89 miscellaneous lectures were given up, 
and were not resumed until 1892. In Epiphany Term, 1893, 
the second affiliation period of three years came to an end, 
and it was resolved not to continue the system, but to return to 
the two educational courses and to miscellaneous lectures. The 
fact is that, although Cambridge had greatly modified its require- 
ments, they still remained too great for most of those who had 
to do all their work in the evenings of working days. 

It is interesting to note one or two facts about the pecuniary 
results of the different classes of lectures. When the University 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



289 



Extension lectures were introduced the average attendance at 
them was 190, and the average cost to the Society was less 
than £1 a lecture, but in the miscellaneous course, at the same 
time, the average attendance was only 175, whilst the cost to 
the Society was £^ 4s. a lecture. 

Since the Society undertook the charge of the University 
Extension lectures up to Easter, 1896, there have been altogether 
39 courses of lectures, and they (the courses) have been attended 
by 7668 students, of whom 1023 have sat for the final examina- 
tion. There has been a total attendance at University Extension 
lectures of more than 90,000 persons. When the reader casts 
his eye over the following list of the courses given and the 
lecturers who gave them, he will scarcely doubt that in this 
matter also the Society has been invaluable to higher education 
in our city, and has deserved well of the community. 






Courses of Twelve Lectures each given in connec- 
tion WITH the Literary and Philosophical Society 
BY Cambridge University Extension Lecturers. 



YEAR. SUBJECT. 

1882. Electricity and Magnetism 

1883. Development of English Litera- 

ture since 1789 

Animal and Plant Life 

1884. Elizabethan Literature 

Plant Life .... 

1885. England from 1760 to 1848, the 

State in relation to Industry 
and Commerce 



lecturer. 
Dr. C. M. Thompson. 

Mr. Richard Hodgson. 
Mr. E. a. Parkyn. 
Mr. W. R. Sorley. 
Mr. E. a. Parkyn. 



Mr. a. H. Thompson. 

19 



290 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION. 



THE SOCIETY AND EDUCATION 



291 



I 






1885. The French Revolution from 

1789101795 

1886. The Nervous System and the 

Senses . . . . 

Four Thinkers of Life: Goethe, 
Shakespere, Rousseau, and 
Wordsworth 

1887. Ancient Tragedies for English 

Audiences .... 
The Forces of Nature 

1888. Heat and Light .... 
Ancient Comedies for English 

Audiences .... 
The Principles of Chemistry 
Elizabethan Literature 

1889. Electricity and Magnetism 
Milton and his Times 

Earth, Air, and Water: Studies in 

Physical Geography 
Poetry and Teaching of Robert 

Browning .... 

1890. Earth History from the Rocks . 
Milton's " Paradise Lost " . 
Plant Life, with special reference 

to Vegetal Biology 
History of France and the Nether- 
lands during the Age of the 
Reformation 



Mr. Arthur J. Grant. 



Mr. E. a. Parkyn. 

) Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
( Mr. G. C. Moore-Smith. 



Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
Mr. Arthur Berry. 

Principal Garnett. 

Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
Mr. C. W. Kimmins. 
Mr. R. G. Moulton. 

Professor Stroud. 
Mr. G. L. Dickinson. 

Mr. W. W. Watts. 

Mr. Owen Seaman. 

Mr. W. W. Watts. 
Mr. R. G. Moulton. 

Mr. M. C. Potter. 



1 89 1. The Classification of Plants 
The Making of Modern Europe . 
Human Physiology . . 
The Absolute Monarchy in France 

1892. Human Physiology . 
The French Revolution 
Animal Life 
Napoleon and his Times 

1893. Darwinism 
The Victorian Half-Century 

1894. The Expansion of England 
Elementary Political Economy, or 

the Making and Sharing of 
Wealth 

1895. The History of English Gothic 

Architecture .... 
Modern Novelists 

1896. English Essayists 

The Venetian Republic 



Mr. M. C. Potter. 
Mr. W. F. Moulton. 
Mr. E. a. Parkyn. 
Mr. a. J. Grant. 
Mr. E. a. Parkyn. 
Mr. a. J. Grant. 
Mr. C. Warburton. 
Mr. J. H. Rose. 
Mr. Hugh de Haviland. 
Mr. C. S. Terry. 
Mr. C. S. Terry. 



Mr. H. S. Mundahl. 

Mr. D. H. S. Cranage. 

Mr. E. J. Mathew. 

Mr. E. J. Mathew. 

Mr, H. J. Boyd Carpenter. 



During the time v\^hen our Lecture-room was being restored 
after the great calamity vfhich befell our building on the night of 
our Centenary celebration, the lectures were held in the College 
of Science. We have now two educational courses given each 
year, and we have also a long and important course of miscel- 
laneous lectures which are very fairly attended. The old Society 
is still carrying on the great and noble educational work which 
it began more than a century ago. 



Mr. Arthur J. Grant. 



It 




CHAPTER XII. 

THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

HEN our Society started on its long and brilliant 
career it was without any rival in the North-eastern 
land. Standing quite alone in this city, it fulfilled in 
itself the objects which, at this day, are the raison d'etre of a 
multitude of different societies which have taken to themselves 
and specialised some one branch of our Society's wide-stretching 
and far-reaching original work. To the large majority of these 
it has stood in loco parentis, and to all alike it has given its 
welcome, and has aided them freely and willingly. It is not 
possible to give anything like an exhaustive account of how the 
Society's rooms have, from the first, been lent to all manner of 
bodies for all manner of purposes, and that without fee or 
reward, the introduction of religion and the politics of the day 
being alone forbidden. In this chapter I shall endeavour to 
give some idea of the part which our Society has played as the 
mother and helper of kindred Societies. 

I need not say anything further than I have already done 
in a prior chapter about the way in which, for many years, it 
performed several of the duties which have since appropriately 
devolved upon the Mining Institute. This was, in fact, one of 
the earliest tasks which it undertook, but the very first loan of 
the Society's room seems to have been in April 1796, when 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 293 

certain of the members were granted its use for special conver- 
sation once a month and on days when it was not otherwise 
required. This was the origin of the formation of those branch 
Societies within the fold of the parent Society which are now so 
familiar to us. 

In June 1798 permission was given to the Musical Society 
to use the room once a fortnight for a private concert, and we 
may look upon this as the beginning of that free lending of 
meeting accommodation which has become a useful and generous 
practice. As I proceed it will become plain to the reader that 
a similar privilege has invariably been accorded to the Societies 
and individuals who have applied for it and merited it, and that 
the laudable objects which have thus been assisted have been 
infinite in variety and character. 

I may mention at the outset that, on the i6th May, 1820, a 
meeting was held in our Society's rooms, with the Mayor in the 
chair, and there "The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Society for the 
gradual abolition of Slavery in the British Dominions" was 
formed. This Society in due course became our Anti-Slavery 
Society, and in 1848 our Society became, through it, the possessor 
of a collection of tracts on Slavery and its extinction in the 
British dominions which form almost a complete history of 
the great movement 

To those of us who were privileged to work in the Anti- 
Slavery cause in times of much darkness and discouragement, 
and who have had to explain to our own children what slavery, 
even in the United States of America, meant, there is a proud 
satisfaction in the fact that our Society was an early helper in 
the mightiest reform which history records. 

The first Society which sprang from the parent tree was the 
Natural History Society of Northumberland and Durham. It 
was not indeed the earliest to become an independent body, 



294 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

but it took possession of the collection of curiosities which the 
parent Society began to form almost as soon as it began to exist. 
In the third chapter, p. 55, I set out some of the presents which 
had been received in the first twelve months of its life as given 
in the first Annual Report, but I fear that I omitted to state the 
fact that the articles from the South Sea Islands were "rendered 
extremely valuable from the circumstance that they were actually 
brought to this country by the celebrated Captain Cook." Every 
year saw new and valuable additions to the general collection. 
Amongst the numerous gifts of 1794-95 we find a reflecting 
telescope, a miner's compass, two inscribed stones from the 
Roman Wall near Walbottle ; a collection of stones, probably 
coralline, found upon the banks of the Tyne, and polished to 
show their internal structure ; and several collections of shells. 
The coralline stones were presented by Mr. John Hancock, a 
saddler and hardwareman on the Sandhill, who was an 
enthusiastic naturalist, and was father to two men, Albany 
Hancock and John Hancock, of whom I shall have to speak 
more fully hereafter, and who stand in the foremost rank of 
those citizens who, by their original accomplishments, have 
made our good old city "dear for her reputation through the 
world." 

As the possessions of the Society increased so did the 
necessity of making due provision for them. You have got but 
a little way on when you have bought your horse, and no further 
if he should have been given you. In September 1795 it was 
resolved to appropriate a sum of £i 5s. annually to defray the 
expense of " establishing a Repository for subjects of Natural 
History." Many birds were presented at this time, but money 
to provide sufficient cases for them was not forthcoming. The 
Committee express their regret at this difficulty, saying that it 
** is the more to be regretted on account of the ease with which 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 295 

a collection in this branch of Natural History might at present 
be made from the specimens which are so frequently sent to 
Messrs. Beilby and Bewicke for their intended work on British 
Birds, the figures drawn from nature."* 

Ralph Beilby, the engraver to whom Thomas Bewick was 
apprenticed, was one of those men who excel in nearly every- 
thing which they put their hands to. He taught his pupil 
everything but drawing and engraving on wood In those 
accomplishments Thomas Bewick received encouragement, if 
not instruction, from Dr. Charles Hutton, of whom I speak at 
p. 100. He cut his first wood-block, an outline sketch of the spire 
of St. Nicholas' Church, for Hutton's Treatise on Mensuration^ 
whilst he was still an apprentice, his master contributing a steel 
engraving to the same work. Beilby and Bewick afterwards 
became partners, and they remained together in that intimate 
association for twenty years, during which Bewick produced his 
famous History of Quadrupeds and History of British Birds, 
Beilby contributing the letterpress to each. At that day, as the 
Report shows, these works were thought to be as much Ralph 
Beilby's as Thomas Bewick's, but time in its long run puts 
reputations into their proper place. 

There is a certain interest in noting that in February 1796 a 
proposal was made that the Society should purchase a complete 
mineralogical collection then on sale at Dresden, but it was 
withdrawn chiefly owing to the "circumstance that collections 
of this nature (were) liable to a very heavy duty on importation." 

* In the noble Museum of the Natural History Society, at the Barras 
Bridge in this city, there is a case of the birds above mentioned as they were 
when Bewick's pencil made them live. The collection of original drawings 
and woodcuts by our greatest artist in the Museum Gallery is also of the 
deepest interest. No one can form an idea of what Bewick really was who 
has not carefully studied them. 



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296 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



The only gifts which the Society seems to have received in 
1798-99 seem, curiously enough, to have been of coins, gold, 
silver, and copper. Five donors presented no fewer than 234 of 
these. Where are those coins now, and where are the 420 more 
received in the following year? The minerals had accumulated 
to such an extent that a special committee was appointed to 
arrange them. But the most interesting entry about this time 
is the following : — 

"December 10 (1799). Drawings and descriptions of two 
hitherto nondescript animals, lately found in New South Wales, 
were laid before the Society by John Hunter, Esq., Governor of 
that Colony; and the proprietors of the General History of 
Quadrupeds, with Mr. Bewick's figures, were permitted to insert 
them in their new edition (now just published). The animals 
themselves, preserved in spirits, have since been received from 
Governor Hunter." 

New South Wales was formally taken possession of by 
Captain Cook in the name of King George HI. on the 20th 
April, 1770, he landing for that purpose at Botany Bay, and to 
Botany Bay the earliest convoy was despatched from England 
on the 13th May, 1787. It took eight months to reach its 
destination, but it was thought more prudent to land its 
passengers, 757 convicts, of whom 200 were women, a few miles 
further north, at Port Jackson. The early years of the colony, 
which was then a mere penal settlement, were not satisfactory. 
The convicts were a lawless crew who were kept under military 
rule. There were frequent quarrels with the natives. The fact 
that there were three Governors in less than eight years is not 
without special significance. Governor Hunter entered on his 
five years' rule in 1795, and, under his firm and capable sway, 
things soon began to assume a better shape. The colony is, 
indeed, under a great debt of gratitude to him. At the time 




THOMAS BEWICK. 



296 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES, 



The only gifts which the Society seems to have received in 
1798-99 seem, curiously enough, to have been of coins, gold, 
silver, and copper. Five donors presented no fewer than 234 of 
these. Where are those coins now, and where are the 420 more 
received in the following year? The minerals had accumulated 
to such an extent that a special committee was appointed to 
arrange them. But the most interesting entry about this time 
is the following : — 

"December 10 (1799). Drawings and descriptions of two 
hitherto nondescript animals, lately found in New South Wales, 
were laid before the Society by John Hunter, Esq., Governor of 
that Colony; and the proprietors of the General History of 
Quadrupeds, with Mr. Bewick's figures, were permitted to insert 
them in their new edition (now just published). The animals 
themselves, preserved in spirits, have since been received from 
Governor Hunter." 

New South Wales was formally taken possession of by 
Captain Cook in the name of King George HI. on the 20th 
April, 1770, he landing for that purpose at Botany Bay, and to 
Botany Bay the earliest convoy was despatched from England 
on the 13th May, 1787. It took eight months to reach its 
destination, but it was thought more prudent to land its 
passengers, 757 convicts, of whom 200 were women, a few miles 
further north, at Port Jackson. The early years of the colony, 
which was then a mere penal settlement, were not satisfactory. 
The convicts were a lawless crew who were kept under military 
rule. There were frequent quarrels with the natives. The fact 
that there were three Governors in less than eight years is not 
without special significance. Governor Hunter entered on his 
five years' rule in 1795, and, under his firm and capable sway, 
things soon began to assume a better shape. The colony is, 
indeed, under a great debt of gratitude to him. At the time 




THOMAS IJKWICK. 



Ill 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 297 

of his appointment he was an Honorary Member of this 
Society. 

These " nondescript animals " are treated of at considerable 
length as addenda to Bewick's Quadrupeds, and figures of them 
are duly given. The one is named " The Wombach," and the 
other is said to be " an animal sui generis; it appears to possess 
a three-fold nature, that of a fish, a bird, and a quadruped, and 
is related to nothing which we have hitherto seen." The account 
which accompanied them from Mr. Hunter is given verbatim, 
and it tells how the creatures have been preserved in spirits 
" for the inspection of the learned members of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne." The unnamed 
animal is the Platypus-Ornithorhyncus or Duck-billed Platypus, 
and the other is the more familiar Wombat. 

By this time the Society's collections had acquired much 
notoriety, and they formed a subject of frequent discussion in 
many of the learned publications of the day. The methodical 
arrangement of the mineralogical department had been care- 
fully completed, and room had been provided " for a complete 
Herbarium of British Plants, which Messrs. Winch, Thornhill, 
and Waugh have, with great liberality, engaged to prepare for 
the Society. They have already presented it with above 
700 specimens of dried indigenous plants, arranged accord- 
ing to Dr. Smith's Flora Britannica: and they have lately 
published, under the title of the Botanist's Guide through the 
Counties of Northumberland and Durham, a List of the Habitats 
of the several plants; which, while it will serve as an Index to 
the Society's Hortus Siccus, will also, it is presumed, be found 
a useful assistant to future Botanists in their excursions in 
search of curious plants." This branch of the Society's collec- 
tions was greatly enriched in 181 1 by a valuable present of a 
large number of plants from New South Wales. In 1808 the 



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298 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

minerals were more completely and effectually rearranged, and 
a catalogue of them was printed in 1811. 

Two years later the Society of Antiquaries was formed " for 
the special purpose of investigating the antiquities of a district 
so intimately connected with the events of the last seventeen 
hundred years." The twentieth report, in mentioning the fact, 
observes that, in the plan of the Society, this had been stated 
as one of the subjects likely to engage its attention, but that it 
had not proved to be so in any considerable degree. So far 
from there being any " tincture of jealousy " felt at this breaking 
off from the parent stem, the operations of the new Society 
were facilitated by the old one in every possible way. Both 
had the same President, and accommodation was willingly 
afforded to the off-shoot in the rooms of the parent institution 
" until the more appropriate apartments in the Castle, for which 
they are understood to be in treaty with the Corporation, shall 
be ready to receive them." 

The Society of Antiquaries remained as guests of this 
Society through its changes of habitation for many years. 
When the present building was erected their treasures were 
housed in the rooms on the ground floor, beneath those which 
were appropriated to the Natural History Museum, and there 
they remained until, in the year 1855, the Antiquarian Society 
at length obtained possession of the Castle. It may well be 
that the sculptured stones and the coins which, in its early 
days, had been presented to this Society, disappeared about the 
same time. 

To return to the days of which we were speaking when we 
turned aside to notice the formation of the first provincial 
archaeological Society : the old Society's collections continued 
to be constantly increased. In 1820 "a handsome present of a 
collection of insects made at Demerara " is acknowledged, and 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 299 



it is also stated that " these have been arranged and named by 
G. T. Fox, Esq., of Westoe, who has also added useful references 
to entomological works." The Society was peculiarly happy 
in having many absent friends who thought of it with affection 
when in far-distant lands, and not less happy in including 
amongst its members, from time to time as occasion required, 
distinguished naturalists who were able and willing to take 
charge of its numerous, various, and valuable gifts, and to 
make the most of them. 

In the letter which was widely circulated when the new 
building had been resolved upon, and pecuniary help was 
required, it is stated that the house about to be erected is to 
be suited "to the creditable accommodation of the Books, 
Philosophical Apparatus, Antiquities, and Subjects of Natural 
History, which (the Society) has now been engaged for nearly 
thirty years, in accumulating for the public benefit ; and of the 
collections which will probably be made by it in future years, 
and also by the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle, more recently 
established, with the same public-spirited views." 

Perhaps the most immediately popular present which the 
Society ever received was in September 1821, when it became 
the happy owner of a real mummy — that very mummy in the 
contemplation of which so many of us, as small children, have 
" snatched a fearful joy." We were always told with charming 
vagueness that this withered, weird, brown specimen of humanity 
was none other than Pharaoh's daughter, and for us then, and 
perhaps even now, there was but one Pharaoh and one daughter. 
Those were the very arms which lifted little Moses out of the 
ark of bulrushes. How he must have cried from terror, and how 
frightened his poor mother must have been, if indeed the 
Hebrew women were not dried up like those of Egypt ! Had 
this gaunt scarecrow ever been extolled as a beautiful and 



/1 



300 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



benevolent Princess? Much might be expected from people 
who worshipped crocodiles and beetles, but this was too much. 
And yet it taught us something, and some of us were told — 

" Now, get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint 
an inch thick, to this favour she must come." 

We did not laugh at that. 

The great event of the arrival of this mummy made much 
stir in our canny town. I extract the following account from 
the twenty-ninth year's report : — 

"The Committee also received during this month from 
Thomas Coats, Esq., of Haydon Bridge, the munificent present 
of a mummy, in high preservation and of great beauty, purchased 
by himself at Gournou, the celebrated burial-place of the ancient 
Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt And to gratify the public 
curiosity with regard to this curious relic of antiquity, the 
Secretaries engaged to attend for a fortnight two hours each 
day, that the members and their friends might be accommodated 
with its inspection, without the risk of its receiving any damage. 
The multitudes who sought admission during this period having 
exceeded all expectation, so as to render it impossible for many 
who wished to see it to contemplate it at their leisure, the 
Secretaries have ever since been ready, on the shortest notice, 
to accompany private parties to inspect an object which, it will 
be admitted, could not, without extreme hazard of its suffering 
irreparable injury, have been left open for indiscriminate inspec- 
tion ; and which the Librarian could not, without the neglect of 
his indispensable duties, have left the Library to shew in a 
separate apartment to all who might apply on the spur of the 
moment. The Committee have been engaged in an extensive 
correspondence on the subject of the Mummy: and they have 
accepted the obliging offer of Mr. Ramsay to make an accurate 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 301 

drawing of its beautiful external case, which drawing he has 
executed in a manner highly creditable to himself and satis- 
factory to the Committee." 

The mummy was placed in a glass case, and it continued to 
attract much attention. Such things were not so common when 
our fathers were young as they are in this time of universal 
travel and encyclopaedic information when our children approach 
middle age. But the mummy Ram which joined the mummy 
Princess in 1823, and has, I think, disappeared, did not draw 
at all in the same way. The surprise was over. A thing which 
has once been done, with whatever difficulty, is easily repeated. 
Granted that the human form divine can be preserved for ages, 
even with the loss of its divinity, there is little difficulty in 
assuming that any other form may, although the anxious 
inquirer might find it hard to understand why any person 
should wish to preserve the mundane form of an old tup. 

Now, just at the date of our Society's receiving the first 
mummy, much attention was being paid to the deciphering of 
hieroglyphics. The famous Rosetta stone had been discovered 
at Reshid or Rosetta, in the Nile delta, in the year 1799, and, 
with it, the clue to the mysterious hieroglyphics. Surely that 
stone with its thrice repeated inscription is one of the most 
fascinating objects in our national museum. By the aid of the 
Greek the decipherment of the picture-language was attempted, 
but it was not until 18 18, and after the discovery of a further 
inscription on the plinth of an obelisk in which the name of 
Cleopatra was given in hieroglyphic writing and in Greek, that 
Dr. Young made out the names of Ptolemy and Berenice, at 
the same time discovering the true principle to be pursued in all 
such investigations. In 1822 Frangois Champollion read the 
whole of the inscription which still remains, and he continued 
to work patiently and scientifically at similar tasks until his 



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•-iia 



302 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES, 

death in 1832. He must be called the discoverer of this new 
intellectual realm, and he left not only a dictionary, but also a 
grammar of the long-forgotten written language of Egypt of 
the Pharaohs. Well might his distinguished countryman, 
Chateaubriand, say of him, " ses admirables travaux auront la 
dur^e des monuments qu*il nous a fait connaitre." 

In 1823 an exact copy of the inscription on the mummy 
was forwarded to M. Champollion, and on October 31st he 
wrote a full and long explanation of each of the signs used, and 
concluded by saying, " The entire legend answers pretty nearly 
to the following phrases: — 

" May she be approved by Phre, the Lord of the Celestial 

Gods, and by T M. (Egyptian Mars), Lord of the Worlds 

May Osiris, the Supreme Ruler of Amenti (Hades), grant repose 
to the Osirian Lady, her daughter Tashorpe ** daughter of ** 
(mother) deceased." 

It is not much, but enough. This grubbing up of coffins 
and withered carcases to gratify the curiosity of peoples who 
are quite content to become, in their turn, manure for the 
common Mother Earth from which they were taken, is some- 
thing of a ghoulish proceeding after all. The only other thing 
to be said about this mummy or its case is that some skilful 
and triumphant collector succeeded in surreptitiously carrying 
off the foot-board of the coffin which held upon it part of the 
inscription. 

In this year, 1823, the Society purchased the celebrated 
Wycliffe Museum, a Natural History collection in an excellent 
state of preservation, and which had been long known to 
naturalists throughout Europe by the numerous references 
made to it in the works of such eminent ornithologists as 
Pennant and Latham. A notice in the Newcastle Courant of 
the 17th November, 1827, says that when formed it was probably 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 303 

the foremost collection of its kind out of London, and adds: 
" But what is of far greater moment, it was the actual cabinet 
from which our illustrious townsman, Bewick, drew on the 
spot the greater number of these superlatively beautiful figures 
which illustrate and embellish his unique History of British 
Birdsr 

The purchase-money of nearly ^500 was advanced at interest 
by Mr. G. T. Fox, and he also examined the collection for the 
Society, and took the chief part of the labour throughout the 
entire transaction. 

Amongst other important gifts which the Society received 
about this time was a valuable collection of some two thousand 
insects, collected and beautifully preserved by the Rev. Dr. 
Macculloch, Principal of Picton College, Nova Scotia. These 
were the more welcome as most of the other insects in the 
Society's possession had been collected in hot climates. 

But, what with handsome gifts and extensive purchases, 
fears began to be entertained that the extensive accommodation 
provided for the Natural History Museum in the Society's 
building would prove inadequate to its purpose. At the very 
first meeting held in the new Lecture-room gifts were announced 
of a large collection of birds from St. Petersburg, smaller col- 
lections of birds from many local gentlemen, 1500 British 
geological speciments, and 572 dried English plants duly 
classified. It was resolved to keep the Museum open daily 
between the hours of twelve and three, and that such members 
as chose to subscribe half-a-guinea annually should, in addition 
to the free admission which was enjoyed by all members alike, 
have tickets allowing the entrance of two persons daily. The 
general public were admitted upon payment of one shilling 
each. Thirty-three half-guineas were at once forthcoming, but 
the plan was hotly contested, and, although carried, did much 



304 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

to bring about the feeling which ultimately caused a separate 
Society to be started. 

The Museum was not opened until December 1825, when 
the local press gave it much attention, and discussed its objects 
of interest in an earnest and amusing way, but they are evidently 
at times speaking chiefly of the Wyclifife purchase. Thus they 
say that there are " 27 Mammalia and 751 Birds of which about 
30 are presents and purchases since the Museum came into the 
Society's possession." This particular department of the Society 
was now managed by a special Museum Committee, which 
worked with a will, and issued a list of the comparatively few 
British birds which were required to complete the collection, and 
they received quite a remarkable number of presents for the 
Society. Amongst these was another mummy, which was given 
by Mr. J. B. Wright, of Cambridge ; it was accompanied by a 
mummy of the sacred Ibis in a glass case, but familiarity had 
bred contempt, and these arrivals seem to have made no special 

sensation. 

M. Champollion again was applied to, and he translated or 
interpreted the hieroglyphics upon the newly acquired mummy's 
case, but the subject-matter was of no special interest, and was 
not published until 1830. In March of that year, however, 
Mr. T. M. Greenhow and Mr. Baird made (in the Lecture-room) 
an exhaustive examination of the new mummy before a number 
of the members, occupying two evenings in the investigation. 
The results obtained were published in detail and were con- 
sidered to be of much value, as they proved how completely the 
Egyptians had, some thousands of years ago, succeeded in pre- 
serving the human frame from corruption, and how very un- 
satisfactory such preservation is after all the trouble has been 

taken. 

In 1827 the Museum Committee issued an exceedingly 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 305 

interesting report, which not only tells of 126 distinct presents 
of natural history objects of many different kinds, during the 
year, and consisting of considerably over 2000 specimens but 
mentions many other points which show how important the 
collections which the Museum contained had become. Its 
geological department had won the admiration and praise of 
the leading geologists of the day, and contained a well-assorted 
array of more than 3000 objects. In Insects it was especially 
rich, those of the British Isles and nearly a thousand foreign 
species having been arranged in genera The list of British 
shells, many of which were purchased from Dr. Turton by 
private subscription, was nearly complete, and only eighty-nine 
species were wanting to perfect the collection of British birds, 
forty.five of these being presented in the following year. 

The Committee go on to mention that the sum of sixty 
pounds a year had been set aside to defray the Curator's salary 
and the other incidental expenses of the Museum, but that this 
was not sufficient to permit of many desirable objects beinor 
purchased, and thus special efforts were required to obtain 
special subscriptions for this purpose. The local press took the 
matter up, and, whilst complaining somewhat of the "attic" 
allotted to the Museum (the present Committee Room), it spoke 
with pride and delight of the numbers who climbed up to it 
of the courtesy of Mr. John Thornhill, at once Librarian and 
Curator, and of the curiosity and interest of the contributions 
which were constantly flowing in. Some of these, such as an 
ancient banner supposed to have belonged to the Incas of Peru 
were only found a place by a wide and liberal interpretation of 
the phrase " natural history." 

But it had long been evident that there was considerable 
friction between the members of this Society who cared most 
for the Library and those members who cared most for the 

20 



1; 



1 

I 






I. 



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3o6 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

Museum. In 1828 a resolution was come to that "all works 
on Natural History (except periodicals already subscribed for) 
be purchased in future out of the funds of the Museum," but the 
Committee explained that, whilst the public interest in this 
department was greatly increasing,— the gifts in a single year 
being of the value of ;^I20, and 2820 persons not members of 
the Society obtaining free admission,— most of the great cost 
incurred in providing for and increasing the different collections 
had been defrayed from private sources or without entailing any 
burden upon the funds of the Society. They evidently antici- 
pated a stormy meeting in 1829, for they expressed their earnest 
hope that the discussion would be " conducted with moderation 
and good temper ; and that whatever might be finally determined 
upon would be for the ultimate advantage of Science, and of this 
Literary and Scientific Institution." 

The resolution of the preceding Anniversary Meeting was 
rescinded, but the further propositions were not accepted. 
They were: — 

(a) That the Committee should have power to sell the Museum. 

(b) That a Committee should be appointed to consider the 

best means of forming the Museum into an establishment 
distinct from the Society, and to report to an early Monthly 
Meeting which should have power of rejection or adoption. 
{c) That, if the Museum were disposed of, all presents should 
be returned to their respective donors. 

The idea which found most favour was that a new Society 
should be formed, and that it should buy ground from this 
Society upon which a special building adapted to its purpose 
should be built, and that the new Society should also purchase 
the collections which belonged to this Society. 

Prior to the Annual Meeting there had been a gathering of 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES, 307 

" Friends to the Formation of a Natural History Society " held 
in this Society's rooms on the 25th February, 1829, with the 
Rev. John Collinson in the chair. It was resolved that a paper 
which was presented to this meeting should be printed and 
circulated amongst the members of this Society before the 
Annual Meeting, which was to be held on the 3rd March. This 
paper set forth many reasons why it was desirable to separate 
the Natural History department from the Society, but perhaps 
the most convincing of these was that which came last Let me 
give it in the words of the paper itself. It says : — 

"But there is yet another and stronger reason why the 
Museum should be separated from the Society, and which com- 
pletely precludes the hope of their succeeding together, even at 
a distant period, and that is the growing dislike of many of the 
Members towards the Museum: from the first it has been the 
cause of discord in the Society, but of late it has shewn itself 
most unequivocally; so that the separation becomes advisable as 
a means of restoring that harmony to the Society which is so 
necessary to its prosperity. The direct effect of the separation 
upon the funds of the Literary Society will be most beneficial. 
Besides relieving it of ;^5oo of debt it will set at liberty nearly 
.^100 per annum to be applied to the reduction of the floating 
debt of the Society, which, in addition to the sum already 
appropriated, in 10 years would reduce that debt as far as may 
perhaps be thought advisable; the sum remaining being no more 
than an equitable rent-charge on the property, which a future 
race of Members may remove if they wish it The advantage 
of the separation will thus be two-fold, whilst, in connexion, for 
many years to come (supposing even that that connexion could be 
kept up) the one Institution would be an obstacle to the other." 
Then came the Anniversary Meeting of the 3rd March 
which I have already mentioned, and, to quote The Northern 



I 



308 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



John Bull of the ist April, " Many smart speeches were made 
for and against disposing of the Museum, but *the noes had it.'" 

But the matter could not end there: the difficulties were 
really serious, and there could be no happy union between 
parties who differed so widely. In July 1829 a circular was 
issued which set forth that " The Undersigned (being aware that 
in this Part of England there are many Persons either scientifi- 
cally or economically interested in the Pursuit of Natural History, 
and that it would tend much to the Advancement of that Study 
were these Persons united in a Society professedly for that 
Object, and in Aid of the Museum at present attached to the 
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) 
would propose that a Society be formed, to be called "The 
Natural History Society of the Counties of Northumberland, 
Durham, and Newcastle-upon-Tyne." 

Gentlemen who wished to become members were to signify 
their intention by letter, addressed to Mr. Thornhill, Curator to 
the Museum, and a meeting was to be held at the Literary and 
Philosophical Society on the 19th of August to adopt rules for 
the new Society, and to launch it on its way. 

Looking back over the many years which have intervened 
between that time and to-day, and remembering the varying 
fortunes of the parent Society and this her most promising 
child, the names of the persons who signed this circular have 
a peculiar interest Dixon Dixon, John Trevelyan, W. C. 
Trevelyan, James Losh, John Collinson, William Turner, John 
Adamson, Chris. Cookson, Emerson Charnley, Thomas Crawhall, 
J. Alder, G. T. Fox, George Wailes, R. B. Bowman, Robert 
Stephenson, William Hutton, Thomas Baker (Whitburn), John 
Thornhill, Cooper Abbs, Joseph Watson, Albany Hancock, 
Nich. Wood, William Hewitson, George Gibsone : how many 
of these men served this Society for long years in different 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 309 

capacities, how many have left names which hold a high place 
in the annals of English science ? Surely the Natural History 
Society which could boast such men amongst those who formed 
it began its work under peculiarly favourable auspices. 

Another valuable and interesting feature of this list of 
signatories is that the staunchest friends and supporters of the 
parent Society are fully represented amongst them. Whatever 
troubles there may have been, how strong soever the opposition 
of any portion of the members, there was no doubt, jealousy, or 
misgiving amongst those to whom the fortunes of this Society 
had been entrusted from the first, and were to be entrusted for 
many years to come. In the report presented to the Annual 
Meeting on March 2nd, 1830, the Committee of this Society 
speak with pleasure of the formation of the Natural History 
Society, and say, "Its most active promoters . . . have ever 
been, and still are, amongst the most zealous and ardent friends 
to this, which they are proud to call the Parent Society; and 
although, since the members of the new Society, though all 
friendly to, are not all members of this, the subjects in the 
various departments of Natural History which shall be collected 
and preserved by its funds, though proposed to be associated 
and arranged with those in our Museum, are naturally to be 
considered as its property, yet your Committee trust that there 
is no wish on either part to separate them ; and they hope that 
no untoward circumstance will ever occur which may by possi- 
bility lead to misunderstanding." 

The meetings of the new Society were to be held in our 
Lecture-room. At the first of these " the Rev. William Turner 
read a preliminary Essay, detailing the motives which led 
to the formation, and the benefits which were contemplated 
might be drawn from the operations of such a society in 
this neighbourhood." The address was concluded amid great 



1. 



3IO THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



applause ; and, on the motion of the Rev. J. Collinson, the 
thanks of the meeting were voted to the Rev. WiUiam 
Turner, with a request that he would allow it to be printed 
and circulated, not only on account of its general ability, 
but also for the comprehensive elucidation of the object 
and utility of the society, which, the meeting was convinced, 
needed only to be known to secure public countenance and 
support." At the next meeting Mr. Turner was in the chair, 
and this shows that the new Society " had been got up in a 
spirit of friendly co-operation rather than of hostility to the 
Literary and Philosophical Society." 

And, for a time, the two Societies went on peaceably side by 
side, and presents were received by each and put away together, 
but it was clear from the first that such a state of affairs could 
not continue for very long. Although great care was taken to 
avoid any occasion of offence, there was necessarily some friction 
from time to time, as there must always be under a twin manage- 
ment, and there was abundant room for latent jealousies to 
develop themselves. The meetings of the new Society received 
many communications which the old Society had failed to get, 
and the gentlemen connected with the coal trade furnished 
several of these. True that an arrangement had been made 
by which, after papers had been read at the meetings of the 
Natural History Society they were to be available for those of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society, but this concession 
meant but little and was of a somewhat doubtful character. 
There was, indeed, some hope in 1831 that the Society might, 
" in no long time, find itself in a situation to combine its funds 
with those of the Antiquarian and Natural History Societies, 
for the accommodation, under one roof, of our various collec- 
tions, and thus of consolidating and firmly establishing the 
relations which do naturally, and ought perpetually, to subsist 




ALIUNY HANCOCK. 



3IO THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



applause; and, on the motion of the Rev. J. Collinson, the 
thanks of the meeting were voted to the Rev. WiUiam 
Turner, with a request that he would allow it to be printed 
and circulated, not only on account of its general ability, 
but also for the comprehensive elucidation of the object 
and utih'ty of the society, which, the meeting was convinced, 
needed only to be known to secure public countenance and 
support." At the next meeting Mr. Turner was in the chair, 
and this shows that the new Society "had been got up in a 
spirit of friendly co-operation rather than of hostility to the 
Literary and Philosophical Society." 

And, for a time, the two Societies went on peaceably side by 
side, and presents were received by each and put away together, 
but it was clear from the first that such a state of affairs could 
not continue for very long. Although great care was taken to 
avoid any occasion of offence, there was necessarily some friction 
from time to time, as there must always be under a twin manage- 
ment, and there was abundant room for latent jealousies to 
develop themselves. The meetings of the new Society received 
many communications which the old Society had failed to get, 
and the gentlemen connected with the coal trade furnished 
several of these. True that an arrangement had been made 
by which, after papers had been read at the meetings of the 
Natural History Society they were to be available for those of 
the Literary and Philosophical Society, but this concession 
meant but little and was of a somewhat doubtful character. 
There was, indeed, some hope in 1831 that the Society might, 
" in no long time, find itself in a situation to combine its funds 
with those of the Antiquarian and Natural History Societies, 
for the accommodation, under one roof, of our various collec- 
tions, and thus of consolidating and firmly establishing the 
relations which do naturally, and ought perpetually, to subsist 




ALU ANY HANCOCK. 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 311 

among them." But this hope was destined to remain unfulfilled, 

and, at the Annual Meeting in 1834, the new arrangement 

which had been come to was brought forward and sanctioned 

The Committee state that arrangement in the following 
words : — 

*' The most prominent feature in the transactions of the year 
which is now closed has been the negociation which the Com- 
mittee have concluded with the Natural History Society for the 
purchase of the ground on which they have erected their 
extensive building for the accommodation of the Antiquarian 
Society, in the Arcade, etc., on the ground floor, and for the 
reception and convenient display of the numerous and valuable 
articles in the Museum ; a considerable part of which is still to 
continue the property of this Society. By the purchase money 
(Aoo), in addition to the ;f200 annually set apart for that 
purpose, your Committee have been enabled to pay off £600 
of the 5 per cent. Loan, and in that proportion to reduce this 
burden upon the Societ/s annual income. When the Museum 
is finished, and united by a convenient passage with the Library- 
room, a further inducement will, no doubt, be held forth to 
persons becoming Members of this Society; to whom, and to 
the friends whom they may introduce, your Committee have 
secured the privilege of freely inspecting the articles in the 
Museum; more especially as a considerable extension is pro- 
posed of the time during which the rooms are to be kept open. 
And, notwithstanding these additional advantages, they are 
attained at a reduction of at least ;f20 from the annual ex- 
penditure of this Society for the maintenance of its own 
comparatively limited Museum: besides having the opportunity 
of appropriating the room, which at present contains it, to any 
other purpose which may be thought most eligible." 

The exact terms of the arrangement which is talked about 



312 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



in this Report were that the Museum of this Society should be 
placed in the new building of the Natural History Society, to 
whose care and management it should be entrusted, the articles 
being carefully marked. The members of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society and their friends were to have free access 
whenever the Museum was open. The members of the Natural 
History Society were allowed, for immediate reference, to take 
books relating to objects of Natural History from the Library to 
the Museum, such books being received from and returned to the 
Librarian. The Literary and Philosophical Society were to pay 
£^0 per annum to the funds of the Natural History Society. 

This was surely a most liberal arrangement upon the part of 
the parent Society. It received ^^"400 as the purchase-money of 
its land, but paid the purchaser ten per cent, per annum upon 
that sum, whilst, at the same time, it contributed much the 
greater part of the show. 

This arrangement continued without variation until, in the 
year 1884, the growing requirements of the North Eastern Rail- 
way Company compelled them to absorb the whole of the Natural 
History Society's building and the collections were removed to 
the fine new Museum which had been erected in memory of the 
Hancock Brothers, at the Barras Bridge.* The careful marking 
of the specimens belonging to this Society had long been aban- 
doned — there was no available record of them ; and the members, 
with that conspicuous generosity which has ever marked their 
dealings with other bodies, consented to receive the nominal 
acknowledgment of i^ioo in full payment for the whole. 

Surely few towns ever boasted of two such brothers as Albany 

* It is surprising that many citizens of Newcastle should still be unaware of the 
noble collections of nature and art contained in this Museum. Any city on earth 
might well be proud of it, but it is, for the most part, neglected by the general public. 
And yet Thomas Bewick and John Hancock have given to it of their best, and, in 
their respective lines, there is none better. 




JOHN HANCOCK. 



312 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 



in this Report were that the Museum of this Society should be 
placed in the new building of the Natural History Society, to 
whose care and management it should be entrusted, the articles 
being carefully marked. The members of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society and their friends were to have free access 
whenever the Museum was open. The members of the Natural 
History Society were allowed, for immediate reference, to take 
books relating to objects of Natural History from the Library to 
the Museum, such books being received from and returned to the 
Librarian. The Literary and Philosophical Society were to pay 
£^0 per annum to the funds of the Natural History Society. 

This was surely a most liberal arrangement upon the part of 
the parent Society. It received ^^400 as the purchase-money of 
its land, but paid the purchaser ten per cent, per annum upon 
that sum, whilst, at the same time, it contributed much the 
greater part of the show. 

This arrangement continued without variation until, in the 
year 1884, the growing requirements of the North Eastern Rail- 
way Company compelled them to absorb the whole of the Natural 
History Society's building and the collections were removed to 
the fine new Museum which had been erected in memory of the 
Hancock Brothers, at the Barras Bridge.* The careful marking 
of the specimens belonging to this Society had long been aban- 
doned — there was no available record of them ; and the members, 
with that conspicuous generosity which has ever marked their 
dealings with other bodies, consented to receive the nominal 
acknowledgment of ;^ioo in full payment for the whole. 

Surely few towns ever boasted of two such brothers as Albany 

* It is surprising that many citizens of Newcastle should still be unaware of the 
noble collections of nature and art contained in this Museum. Any city on earth 
might well be proud of it, but it is, for the most part, neglected by the general public 
And yet Thomas Bewick and John Hancock have given to it of their best, and, in 
their respective lines, there is none better. 




JOHN HANCOCK. 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES, 313 

and John Hancock. We were rich in naturalists —Joshua 
Alder, Selby, Fox, the Bradys, Dr. Embleton, Hewitson, Cooper 
Abbs, Atthey, and many another, but the Hancock brothers 
stood alone. Gentle, simple, unassuming men, there was a true, 
natural nobility about them both. Albany was perhaps the man 
of greatest width— or, perhaps it would be more correct to say 
that his interests were wider— but each brother was unique. 
Each had his own special line: Albany Hancock was the 
highest authority in the world on the British Nudibranchiate 
Mollusca; John Hancock was an unrivalled ornithologist. 
Both were artists in the truest sense. Albany Hancock's 
drawings of the anatomical details of microscopic objects are 
unrivalled for delicacy and truth. John Hancock, as a taxider- 
mist, stands alone in the wide world. He is first, and there is 
no second. These are not the extravagant words of one who 
from his early youth was privileged to see much of them, and who 
is still enthralled by the memory of their rarely beautiful per- . 
sonalities. They will be re-echoed by all who really know. 

Both brothers took an active interest in the affairs of the 
Society, and were of great service to it for many years as 
members of Committee. Albany Hancock died in 1873 at the 
age of sixty-seven, whilst John Hancock lived until 1890, and 
was eighty-two years old when he died. 

The opening of the new Museum in 1835 placed the rooms 
which had been required for it and for the Antiquarian Society 
at the disposal of this Society's Committee. The old Museum 
Room was made into the Committee Room, and was also used 
as a Reading Room; the room which the Antiquaries had 
occupied became the home of the Medical Society, and the 
old Committee Room was let to " the newly-established Law 
Institute." The Medical Society continued to have possession 
of their room until 1847, but the Law Institute seems to have 



I 



314 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

been a passing visitor. It was the precursor of the present 
Newcastle and Gateshead Law Society. 

The next off-shoot from the parent Society was to be one for 
the promotion of the Fine Arts. At the monthly meeting held 
in September 1836 papers were read upon this subject by Dr. 
White and Mr. James T. Bell, and Mr. Sopwith moved, and 
Mr. Greenhow seconded, "that a committee be appointed to 
forward such a society, in conjunction with this society, and 
take the affair into consideration." A committee of thirteen 
members was accordingly appointed, and it went to work with 
so much energy that, before the end of the year, Lord Ravens- 
worth had accpted the ofifice of Patron, and the Bishop of 
Durham that of President, and, in the report presented in 1838, 
the success of the new Society is announced. Upon its 
original Rules is printed, "Established October 22, 1836, 
under the sanction of the Literary and Philosophical Society, 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne." The Fine Arts Society carried on its 
useful operations for half a century, at first in the apartments 
connected with the Central Exchange, and afterwards, when 
the Society of Antiquaries moved to the Castle, in the rooms 
below the Natural History Society's Museum which the Anti- 
quarians had occupied. It was fortunate in having for many 
years as its Head Master a man of great original ability and in- 
spiring genius in Mr. William Bell Scott, and a devoted and able 
chairman in Mr. Joseph Watson. But its chief and conspicuous 
success was due to the unwearying and loving labours of the 
late Mr. James Leathart, who possessed an innate appreciation 
of good art such as is rarely found, and combined with this a 
self-sacrificing readiness to spend and be spent in its service 
which is beyond praise. His own collection of the works of the 
pre-Raphaelite brethren was widely known, and gave some 
character to this district. 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 315 

When the North Eastern Railway drove out the Natural 
History Society, the Fine Arts Society had also to leave, and it 
entered into alliance with the College of Science and became 
the Art Department of that invaluable institution. It is only 
right that I should record how much that Department owes to 
the wisdom and liberality of one by whose untimely death the 
cause of learning in general, and of art in particular, has in this 
district lost so much, the late Mr. Charles Mitchell. 

In each of the meetings of the British Association in this 
city, in 1838, 1863, and 1889, this Society has taken a promi- 
nent part, sending deputations to urge the claims of Newcastle 
to the honour of a visit, lending its rooms to the Local Com- 
mittee and for the meetings of Sections, etc., opening its Library 
to the Members and Associates, and contributing many willing 
workers to the necessary preparations. The great success of 
the last gathering was acknowledged ly due in a large measure 
to the extraordinary and invaluable exertions of Professor 
Merivale, then the Societ/s Junior Secretary. 

The next off-shoot thrown out by the parent tree may 
strike those who have not considered the nature of many of the 
papers contributed to the Monthly Meetings as somewhat 
remarkable. It was the establishment of a Farmers' Club for 
Newcastle and its neighbourhood. The preliminary meetings 
were held in this Society's Committee and Lecture Rooms, and 
the Club took for its meeting-room the apartment once occupied 
by the Antiquarian Society. It began at the end of 1845 and 
remained with this Society for more than twelve years ; and in 
1846 the use of the Lecture and Committee Rooms was granted 
to the members of the Royal Agricultural Society of England 
during their meeting in Newcastle, the members also having 
permission to make use of the Library. 

The Society's willing help was next afforded to a Society of 



3i6 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

Teachers formed in this town in 1847, "having for its object 
the raising the intellectual character of the instructors of youth, 
and the advancement of general education, on the soundest 
principles of intellectual philosophy." The Committee "had 
the greatest satisfaction in placing the lecture room under the 
controul of the managers for the meetings of the society," 
and had "the gratification to state that three most important 
lectures had been delivered before the Teachers' Society, . . . 
the first, by Dr. Dodd of North Shields, on * The best means 
of promoting the Intellectual Improvement of Youth/ The 
second by the Rev. J. C. Bruce, * On the best means of pro- 
moting the Moral Improvement of Youth'; and the third, by 
Mr. Snape, * On Mathematics as a Portion of a Liberal Educa- 
tion'; which lectures have been given to the public by their 
estimable and talented authors." 

A Sanitary Association which was got up principally by the 
exertions of one of the members. Dr. Robinson, had also the use 
of the lecture-room for its meetings during the same year. Half 
a century afterwards another Society with similar objects, the 
North Eastern Sanitary Inspection Association, has been 
frequently indebted to this society for similar hospitality. 

And here I may explain that I cannot pretend to mention 
the names even of the innumerable bodies which have made 
" the Lit. and Phil." their rendezvous from time to time. Some 
of these, such as the Anti-Slavery Society, and the " Newcastle 
Society for improving the condition of climbing boys," have long 
since happily fulfilled their missions, and what their missions 
were must be carefully explained to the curious of the present 
generation. My purpose is rather to speak of those which have 
directly sprung from this Society, or to which this Society has 
given a home in the impecunious and struggling days of youth. 

But I think that I should note that every application for the 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES, 317 

use of the Society's rooms has been carefully considered, and 
has been decided upon its supposed merits, the granting or 
refusal of the request being by no means a foregone conclusion. 
Thus a motion made at the annual meeting on February 6th, 
1850, "that it be a recommendation to the Committee to allow 
the use of the Lecture-room for a lecture on the connection 
between temperance and education, and between intemperance 
and ignorance," was negatived. 

For many years the Law Students' Debating Society had 
the advantage of the Committee's permission to meet in a room 
belonging to the Society, and it is interesting to recall that one 
of the leading spirits of that band of eloquent young men in the 
fifties was the present Mr. Justice Bruce. 

But the most important of all the Societies which have been 
cradled in this is beyond all doubt the North of England 
Institute of Mining Engineers, which was founded in 1852. I 
need not remind the reader of the early work done by this 
Society in the direction of the systematic advancement of 
mining science generally, or of the pleading by Mr. W. Thomas 
for the establishment of such an Institute before last century had 
run its course. The matter had never lost its interest, and the 
Committee, rejoicing in 1836 over the branches which had 
sprung from the old tree, say "it would be unnatural in the 
Parent not to rejoice in the prosperity and success of her off- 
spring; and, so far from cherishing the slightest envy or jealousy 
at their individual success, will feel herself entitled to a portion 
at least of the credit which they shall gain, particularly if the 
eminent example of Mr. Buddie should occasion the establish- 
ment of a General Permanent Record Office for the Mining 
Transactions of the district, she will recollect that the idea was 
originally started by a then distinguished Member of her own 
body (the late W. Thomas, Esq.), as early as the year 1797, at 



3i8 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

a time when the public mind was not sufficiently opened to its 
many advantages." 

Mr. Buddie did not live to see his ardent desires carried into 
effect, but he did much to make a Mining Institute possible. 
To him perhaps more than to any other man do we owe the 
paramount position which the science of mining engineering has 
attained. He died in 1843, but his name will live as one of the 
great pioneers of our Northern coal industry as we know it, so 
long as the Coal Trade flourishes "on the banks of Coaly 
Tyne." He also was one of the invaluable men who were trained 
under the Rev. William Turner. 

Mr. Nicholas Wood, the first President of the new Society, 
set forth its objects in his inaugural address thus : — 

" 1st. By the union and concentration of professional ex- 
perience to endeavour, if possible, to devise measures which 
may tend to avert or alleviate those dreadful calamities which 
have so frequently produced such destruction of life and pro- 
perty, and which have always been attended with such misery 
and distress to the mining population of the district; and, 2nd, 
to establish a literary association more particularly applicable 
to those engaged in researches in the theory and practice of 
mining than any of the institutions at present established in 
this locality." 

The Mining Institute has grown to be an institution of 
the first importance. The most friendly relations have always 
existed between it and this Society, and an arrangement exists 
between the two bodies, whose homes adjoin and are con- 
nected by an iron bridge, whereby the members of each Society 
have access, for the purposes of reference and study, to the 
works in the Library of the other. 

I have now dealt with the formation of the Societies which 
may properly be considered as having sprung from the Literary 




JOHN BUDDLE. 



3i8 THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 

a time when the public mind was not sufficiently opened to its 
many advantages." 

Mr. Buddie did not live to see his ardent desires carried into 
effect, but he did much to make a Mining Institute possible. 
To him perhaps more than to any other man do we owe the 
paramount position which the science of mining engineering has 
attained. He died in 1843, but his name will live as one of the 
great pioneers of our Northern coal industry as we know it, so 
long as the Coal Trade flourishes "on the banks of Coaly 
Tyne." He also was one of the invaluable men who were trained 
under the Rev. William Turner. 

Mr. Nicholas Wood, the first President of the new Society, 
set forth its objects in his inaugural address thus : — 

" 1st. By the union and concentration of professional ex- 
perience to endeavour, if possible, to devise measures which 
may tend to avert or alleviate those dreadful calamities which 
have so frequently produced such destruction of life and pro- 
perty, and which have always been attended with such misery 
and distress to the mining population of the district; and, 2nd, 
to establish a literary association more particularly applicable 
to those engaged in researches in the theory and practice of 
mining than any of the institutions at present established in 
this locality." 

The Mining Institute has grown to be an institution of 
the first importance. The most friendly relations have always 
existed between it and this Society, and an arrangement exists 
between the two bodies, whose homes adjoin and are con- 
nected by an iron bridge, whereby the members of each Society 
have access, for the purposes of reference and study, to the 
works in the Library of the other. 

I have now dealt with the formation of the Societies which 
may properly be considered as having sprung from the Literary 




JOHN UUDDLE. 



li 



I: I 



THE MOTHER OF MANY SOCIETIES. 319 

and Philosophical Society. I may, in conclusion, and in order to 
give some adequate idea of the wide range of hospitality which 
the parent has exercised, give simply the names of the different 
bodies to which the use of the Lecture Room or Committee 
Room, or both, has been granted free of rent during the past ten 
years. Many of these, probably the majority, have had the 
privilege throughout the Winter Session, frequently throughout 
the year, and the permission has been renewed for many years 
in succession : — 

The Tyneside Students' Association, the Northern Counties 
Photographic Association, the North-East Coast Engineers' and 
Shipbuilders' Association, the North of England Microscopical 
Society, the Foremen Engineers' and Draughtsmens* Associa- 
tion, the North-Eastern Sanitary Association, the Society for 
National Insurance, the Food Reform Association, the Wesleyan 
Conference, the North of England Volunteer Service Institu- 
tion, the Mining Institute, the Newcastle Royal Infirmary, the 
Institution of Naval Architects, the Shelley Society, the Tyne- 
side Geographical Society, the Provisional British Association 
Local Committee, the National Society of Musicians, the Vege- 
tarian Society, Northern Architectural Association, Trinity 
College, Northumberland and District Teachers' Union, Royal 
Grammar School, Fruit-Growers' Association, Linguistic Associa- 
tion, National Home Reading Union, St. Mark's Ex-Students, 
Horticultural Mutual Improvement Society, Newcastle Teachers* 
Association, Newcastle Health Society, National Phonographic 
Association, Plumbers' Association, Tyneside Naturalists' Field 
Club, Government School of Art, Royal Archaeological Institute 
of Great Britain and Ireland, the Society of Chemical Industry. 

We are entitled to contemplate that long list with some 
pride. Our Society has been the mother of noble children, and 
a staunch friend to every endeavour to improve the moral, social, 
and intellectual condition of mankind. 




CHAPTER XIII. 

THE CENTENARY AND AFTER, 

HE Society attained the good old age of one hundred 
years upon the 7th February, 1893. Arrangements 
were made for the due celebration of the important 
event by holding a great Conversazione in the rooms of the 
Society and those of the Mining Institute. Never before had 
there been so brilliant a gathering, never before had the suite of 
fine rooms been so admirably decorated or looked so beautiful. 
As you lounged beneath tall and graceful palms or wandered in 
groves of richly-fruited orange trees, and the sweet strains of 
music stole through the air, it was difficult to believe that you 
were in "canny Newcassel." You entered sympathetically into 
the feelings of the old lady, so fond of fairy stories, of whom 
Tom Hood tells, when, under slightly other circumstances, she 
exclaimed — 

" Little Prince Silver-wings has ketched me up. 
And set me down in some one else's garden." 

The entertainments provided for the occasion are thus de- 
scribed by one of the journals of the day : " The refreshments 
purveyed in the new reading room were, quite recherche, and 
well served. Mr. J. H. Amers' orchestral band discoursed from 
the galleries overhead ; a double quartet party from York 




LORD ARMSTRONG, C.B., F.R.S. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



THE CENTENARY AND AFTER, 




HE Society attained the good old age of one hundred 
years upon the 7th February, 1893. Arrangements 
were made for the due celebration of the important 
event by holding a great Conversazione in the rooms of the 
Society and those of the Mining Institute. Never before had 
there been so brilliant a gathering, never before had the suite of 
fine rooms been so admirably decorated or looked so beautiful. 
As you lounged beneath tall and graceful palms or wandered in 
groves of richly-fruited orange trees, and the sweet strains of 
music stole through the air, it was difficult to believe that you 
were in "canny Newcassel." You entered sympathetically into 
the feelings of the old lady, so fond of fairy stories, of whom 
Tom Hood tells, when, under slightly other circumstances, she 
exclaimed — 

" Little Prince Silver-wings has ketched me up, 
And set me down in some one else's garden." 

The entertainments provided for the occasion are thus de- 
scribed by one of the journals of the day : " The refreshments 
purveyed in the new reading room were, quite recherchcy and 
well served. Mr. J. H. Amers' orchestral band discoursed from 
the galleries overhead ; a double quartet party from York 




LORD ARMSTROXc;, C.B., F.R.S. 



THE CENTENARY AND AFTER, 



321 



Minster rendered with cultured effect in the Hall many fine 
songs; and then, in other rooms, something of the inventive 
genius of the age was demonstrated — in one place, Edison*s 
latest phonograph, and at another quite a large number of 
telephonic communications with the opera at the Art Gallery, 
by which a succession of hearers, although a quarter of a mile 
away, seemed to be too near, so loud and resounding were the 
choruses and orchestration heard, the flute always coming out most 
distinctively. While Dr. Spence Watson and Lord Armstrong 
held together as large and brilliant an audience as probably 
ever sat for a couple of hours in the theatre of the Lit. and Phil., 
Mr. Richard Welford took up another company in the new 
lecture room, and entertained every one fortunate enough to get 
in with a pictorial address on * Old Newcastle.' After all these 
enticing and entertaining things the youthful celebrants finished 
off with a dance in the Wood Hall, the floor of which had been 
laid with a drugget, and made it quite enjoyable. Altogether, 
the celebration was as pleasant as the memories of the good 
work done by the society." 

The Senior Secretary's contribution was an historical sketch 
of the Society, but that which made the evening specially 
memorable was the account given by the venerable President, 
Lord Armstrong, of the result of his original researches into 
various electrical phenomena which he afterwards published 
under the title of " Experimental Lecture on novel effects of the 
Electrical Discharge." The experiments were new, numerous, 
and splendid. Lord Armstrong became a member of the 
Society in 1836, his father, Mr. William Armstrong, having 
joined it in 1799, and having for some years taken an active 
part in its management 

Before leaving the rooms at eleven o'clock on the night of 
the centenary celebration the writer walked round the galleries, 

21 



I 



' 



i 



322 



THE CENTENAR Y AND AFTER. 



^ 



gazing on as gay and glittering a scene as any staid and sober 
old Society could possibly afford. Travelling up to the 
metropolis during the night, he took up the Times whilst 
breakfasting on the following day, and his eye fell speedily 
upon a short paragraph which stated, without note or comment, 
that during the night the Society's building had been burned to 
the ground. 

And it was true. The greater part of the old building had 
been actually destroyed or rendered useless for its purpose. 

A telegraph clerk, going to his work in the neighbouring 
General Post Office about a quarter to six on the morning of 
the 8th February, discovered the outbreak of fire and gave the 
alarfn. Assistance was soon forthcoming, and by great and 
well-directed exertions, the Fire Brigade succeeded in preventing 
any extension of the conflagration, but heavy damage was done 
before the flames were extinguished. There was not a part of 
the building which had not suffered from fire or water, but the 
chief amount of destruction had been done in the principal 
library, where the fire began. The floor had partially fallen in, 
the roof was completely destroyed, the books were burned by 
fire or drenched with water, and the ceiling of the lecture theatre 
had fallen in. The destruction was not indeed complete, but 
the sight was a sorry one, and the rain and snow and tempest 
seemed, for a moment, to hold the institution at their mercy. 

Still this was but for a moment. The Committee rose to 
the occasion : the Secretaries, Professor Merivale and Mr. Alfred 
Holmes, who had taken office for the first time, calmly looked 
the situation in the face, and, with courage and business-like 
promptitude, began at once the heavy and weary work of 
reparation. Friends too turned up on all hands, and the aid 
given by many, but conspicuously by the Mining Institute, was 
of the greatest advantage. It was found that the fire had 




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322 



THE CENTENAR Y AND AFTER, 



ti 



gazing on as gay and glittering a scene as any staid and sober 
old Society could possibly afiford. Travelling up to the 
metropolis during the night, he took up the Times whilst 
breakfasting on the following day, and his eye fell speedily 
upon a short paragraph which stated, without note or comment, 
that during the night the Society's building had been burned to 
the ground. 

And it was true. The greater part of the old building had 
been actually destroyed or rendered useless for its purpose. 

A telegraph clerk, going to his work in the neighbouring 
General Post Office about a quarter to six on the morning of 
the 8th February, discovered the outbreak of fire and gave the 
alarfn. Assistance was soon forthcoming, and by great and 
well-directed exertions, the Fire Brigade succeeded in preventing 
any extension of the conflagration, but heavy damage was done 
before the flames were extinguished. There was not a part of 
the building which had not suffered from fire or water, but the 
chief amount of destruction had been done in the principal 
library, where the fire began. The floor had partially fallen in, 
the roof was completely destroyed, the books were burned by 
fire or drenched with water, and the ceiling of the lecture theatre 
had fallen in. The destruction was not indeed complete, but 
the sight was a sorry one, and the rain and snow and tempest 
seemed, for a moment, to hold the institution at their mercy. 

Still this was but for a moment. The Committee rose to 
the occasion: the Secretaries, Professor Merivale and Mr. Alfred 
Holmes, who had taken office for the first time, calmly looked 
the situation in the face, and, with courage and business-like 
promptitude, began at once the heavy and weary work of 
reparation. Friends too turned up on all hands, and the aid 
given by many, but conspicuously by the Mining Institute, was 
of the greatest advantage. It was found that the fire had 



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THE CENTENAR Y AND AFTER. 



323 



originated in the south-east corner of the old library, and was 
probably due to the over-heating of a beam beneath the hearth- 
stone of the fire-place. In 1890 the library was heated by hot 
water, and since that date the fire-place in question had been 
unused, but on the afternoon of the 7th February a fire was 
lighted in it for the purpose of providing hot water for the 
refreshment department. As was frequently the case at the 
time the Library was built, one of the main beams lay under 
each hearth-stone, and this bad practice accounts for a great 
number of fires in other places as well as for this. Alterations 
made in the flooring to accommodate the hot-water pipes per- 
mitted the access of air to the beam, and to this concurrence 
of circumstances the great fire in question was probably due. 

It is worth noting that when the hearth-stone under the 
corresponding grate on the other side of the Library was raised, 
the beam beneath it was found to be much charred, and yet no 
fire had been lighted in that grate for at least forty years. 

When the new wing was built in 1887-88 a large room 
was provided on the ground-floor, under the extension of the 
Library, and it had been occasionally used for meetings of 
societies when the numbers attending were not too large. This 
room the Committee at once fitted up as a temporary library, 
whence magazines, new books, and the like, might be issued, 
and also as a reading-room; and so successful were they in 
meeting the immediate requirements of the case that, in spite of 
much inevitable inconvenience, there was no falling off* in the 
number of members. 

They then attended to the grave questions of insurance, of 
the reconstruction of buildings, and the re-purchase of books. 
They appointed Mr. F. W. Rich, the well-known architect, to 
meet the representative of the Insurance Company and to 
endeavour to agree upon the cost of restoring the buildings ; 



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THE CENTENARY AND AFTER. 



Mr. Thorne was entrusted with a similar duty with reference to 
books lost or damaged ; and furniture, pictures, busts, etc., 
were valued by experts, and the amount of injury or loss was 
adjusted between the Honorary Secretaries of the Society and 
the Secretary of the Insurance Company. It was found that 
upwards of 9609 books had been actually destroyed, 7468 had 
been more or less seriously injured, whilst 21,842 had received 
damage to binding alone. The total amount ultimately received 
from the Insurance Company was ;^ 10,648 14s. 2d., upon all 
accounts. 

Upon the 31st August, 1893, the Committee met the members 
at a special General Meeting and reported the settlement which 
had been come to, and the steps which were being taken to 
replace such of the books as had been destroyed as were 
still to be obtained and as it was in any way desirable to 
replace. 

They then entered into a careful and detailed explanation 
of the manner in which they proposed that the building should 
be restored. As this work has been successfully carried out it 
is unnecessary to quote largely from this part of the report, but 
I may summarise its chief conclusions. 

The roof of a library, especially when it is to be lighted by 
skylights, is always an anxious matter. It is not easy, at the 
same time, to provide efficiently for the escape of impure air and 
yet to avoid the entrance of snow and rain. In this case there 
was the further consideration that the old roof had proved to be 
a special source of danger in the case of fire. Now it was 
proposed to make a double roof, an outer one of plain iron-work 
and rough plate glass, and an inner one of three iron-framed 
glass domes, the connecting plaster work being attached to iron 
net-work and put up in sections. The Committee-room was 
at the same time to have a new glass and iron roof. 



THE CENTENAR Y AND AFTER. 



32s 



The floor of the principal library was to be replaced by steel 
girders and concrete, paved with oak blocks. All open fire- 
places were to be done away with, the lecture-room being 
heated by steam and the rest of the building by hot water, 
and special arrangements being made for the admission of fresh 
and the ejection of foul air. Steam was only preferred to 
hot water in the case of the lecture-room, because it admitted of 
raising or lowering the temperature with greater rapidity. 

The members confirmed the greater part of the report of the 
Committee, but, happily for the charm of a room of perfect 
proportions, they refused to allow a broad flight of stairs to be 
made from the floor to the gallery at the east end of the 
principal library. They acknowledged gratefully the zeal, 
devotion, and business aptitude which the Junior Secretary, 
Mr. Alfred Holmes, had displayed in the many difficult negotia- 
tions and arrangements consequent upon the great catastrophe 
which I have described. It was also specially mentioned, when 
the work was at length well and satisfactorily carried out, that 
the performance had been rather a labour of love to Mr. Rich, 
the architect employed, than a mere professional duty. 

The alterations were indeed proceeded with in a spirit of 
commendable promptitude, and the rooms were once more 
thrown open to the members on the ist October, 1894 There 
had been many minor changes made which had not been thought 
of until the work was in progress. In order that there should 
be less probability of fire spreading to or from the old rooms 
which kept their wooden floors, ceilings of steel and plaster and 
marble floors had been inserted at the openings. The whole of 
the rooms had been lighted with the electric light, the current 
being obtained from a dynamo driven by a gas engine which 
was placed in the basement of the new part of the building. 
The new room on the ground -floor, which had been used for all 



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THE CENTENARY AND AFTER. 



purposes connected with the distribution of books during what 
I may perhaps be allowed to call the interregnum, had since 
been fitted up as a smoking-room, and was greatly appreciated 
by the numerous followers of Sir Walter Raleigh. Before so 
great and salutary a reform had been brought about there was, 
naturally enough, prolonged discussion and much searching of 
heart The idea that it was quite possible for any member who 
objected to smoking never to enter a new room, not of the first 
importance and which he would probably never have entered 
at all but for the fire, seemed one which it was difficult to grasp. 
But year runs after year, and use and wont speedily begin to 
exercise their remarkable powers of atonement, and the objec- 
tions and the predicted downthrows and demoralisations have 
all ended peacefully in smoke. 

It is not necessary for me to go further with this story. The 
good old Society was never so strong, useful, and flourishing as 
it is now in the mid-summer of 1896. The membership has 
increased by leaps and bounds since 1893, just as though the 
terrible fire had acted as a monstrous advertisement, and New- 
castle people had at last awakened to the fact that they had 
a Literary and Philosophical Society in their midst. On the 
1st January, 1896, there were 1652 members on the roll, of whom 
247 were associates. This was an increase of 295 over the 1357 
of January ist, 1895, and was indeed a higher number than had 
ever been reached before. The nearest approach to it was on 
January ist, 1872, when there were 1533 members.* It is quite 
possible that the admission of novels, and the large increase in 
the number of cheaper magazines subscribed for, account for 
a considerable proportion of the growth of members, but it 

There are now, in the month of December 1896, 1554 Members 
and 305 Associates, or together 1859 persons entitled to benefit by the 
Society. 



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THE CENTENAR Y AND AFTER. 



327 



must not be forgotten that the Reference part of the library 
has been kept up with exemplary care. 

In fact, the success of the Society has been well and fairly 
earned. Where will you find another Institution which offers you 
so much for your money ? If you are a full member and pay a 
guinea a year, your wife, your unmarried daughters, and your 
sons under twenty-one years of age, can become associates at a 
half-guinea subscription apiece, and have every privilege of 
ordinary members, excepting that they can neither vote nor 
take any part in the management of the Society, and may only 
take out two works at a time. 

You yourself may not only vote, but may take out five works 
at once, only one being a current Magazine or Review. 

Then you have a room where you can sit, in quiet and comfort, 
and consult encyclopaedias and dictionaries. The large Library is 
arranged with sequestered chairs and tables with every provision 
for quiet study, whilst the tables in the smaller room are covered 
with periodicals, reviews, magazines, the art monthlies, and the 
like. You have nearly 50,000 volumes, which have been carefully 
collected through long years, to consult or to borrow for home 
perusal, and you have also access to the valuable scientific 
library in the Mining Institute which belongs to the Coal Trade 
of Northumberland and Durham. New books you must return 
to the Library in a fortnight, but books which have been more 
than a year in the Library you may keep for three weeks. 

During the winter months, from October to March, you may 
listen on each Monday evening, in the comfortable lecture 
theatre, to a discourse by some man of eminence in the literary, 
artistic, or scientific world. You may also, if you should be 
so inclined, benefit each year by two courses of twelve lectures 
each given by Cambridge University Extension lecturers in the 
Easter and Michaelmas terms, real educational courses which 



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THE CENTENARY AND AFTER, 



are accompanied by conversation or heckling classes, by the 
writing of essays, and a final examination. 

And you have the large and handsome smoking-room, open 
from 10 A.M. to 9.30 P.M., and in it you can read, or talk, or 
play at chess. There is already a Chess Club which you may 
join, and a Shakespeare Society, a Discussion Society, and a 
Photographic Society with a dark chamber in the basement 
These societies have small subscriptions of their own to defray 
their necessary expenses, but every member of the parent 
Institution is entitled to attend every meeting which is held in 
any part of the building, excepting those which only relate to 
management 

For that building, and all that it contains, belong to 
the members— to all the members, old and new alike. This 
happy and generous freedom of constitution was, I believe, 
unknown when the Literary and Philosophical Society first 
adopted it 

There have been difficulties, more or less serious, consequent 
on the relaxation of some of the restrictive rules, the large and 
sudden accessions of members, the multiplication of domestic 
Societies which are bound to observe the laws of the Society, 
but over which the Committee can, in the very nature of things, 
have but little control. It surely behoves us all to be very 
careful and very considerate in these matters. We are a Society 
of friends, and should be anxious to consult the wishes of others 
in things lawful in preference to our own. Those who feel 
themselves strong should be willing to condescend to the 
weaker brethren. Where all are truly equal any endeavour to 
force conclusions must and ought to fail. Let the young 
remember that, though the old ones cannot be so wise as they 
are, they may have gained something by longer experience, and 
the old recollect that they once were young and thought that 



THE CENTENARY AND AFTER. 



329 



they were the people and wisdom would perish with them. Old 
and young have alike a serious responsibility accompanying 
their membership of this Society. It is a true republic, and 
should acknowledge no dictator. All are equal in power, and. 
should be equally jealous of the good fame and name which 
have come down to them through long generations. 

Two great topics divide friends and make them foes — 
religion and politics. Those who founded our Society wisely 
resolved that ther^e. should be one place in our good old city 
where all men and women might meet on neutral ground. 
Those who are the most thrown into the turmoil and labour of 
civil or religious strife are the most conscious of the blessing 
which such a meeting-place affords. Let it be held for ever 
sacred. 

And may the member who, a century hence, continues, with 
far greater ability, but with no more devotion, the story which I 
have so far told, be able to say that for usefulness, for liberality, 
and for numbers, no other local Society, then, as now, excels 
the good old Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne. 



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APPENDIX A. 

Hints for establishing an office in Newcastle for collecting 
and recording Authentic Information relative to the state 
of the collieries in its neighbourhood, and the progress 
that has been made towards ascertaining the nature and 
constitution of th^ strata below those seams to which 
the workings in this country have been confined. By 
William Thomas, Esq. 

September 13/^, 1796. 

Read at a meeting of the Literary and Philosophical Society 
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and published by order of the Society. 
1815. 

Although to some it may appear that the plan about to be proposed 
has more of remote than immediate advantage in view, yet if it is 
acknowledged that such advantage will be the result, it is to be hoped 
the measure will not be deemed superfluous, nor considered as having 
for its object the gratification of an impertinent curiosity rather than 
the general and permanent welfare of the public. As an institution, 
however, of the description now contemplated may, on a cursory view 
of the subject, awaken suspicion, by seeming to demand information on 
subjects of too delicate and secret a nature, intimately connected with 
individual property, it may not be improper before we enter on its 
principles and details, to point out some of the more obvious and 
immediate advantages to be derived from it, as well as of some other 
circumstances which appear to be favourable to the undertaking. 




332 



APPENDIX. 



% 



When the information, which it will be the business of such an 
office to collect, and to arrange, shall have been carried to some degree 
of maturity, by connecting the different properties in the district, with 
the knowledge (as far as it has been obtained) of the nature of the 
strata which compose each respective division of that property, a 
regular history of the various seams of coal existing, within each 
division, may be drawn from such information. By this means, a 
considerable expense in the article of borings for the purpose of ascer- 
taining the fact, will, in a great measure, be rendered unnecessary, the 
time employed in that tedious process will be very much abridged, and 
an effectual winning much sooner accomplished. Should suspicions 
of the efficacy of such information to the full extent, be urged against 
the plan (and such objections may, perhaps, in some instances appear 
reasonable enough), yet they by no means destroy the great body of 
advantages which it is calculated to produce. A very partial boring, 
where previous information is obtained illustrative of the relative con- 
nection of the strata, has, in general, been deemed sufficient authority 
on which to form a decided opinion of the nature of the whole ; and 
by those who are acquainted with the very great expense incurred in 
the prosecution of extensive borings, this cannot but be regarded as a 
very important consideration. 

Another considerable advantage to be obtained by this collective 
information and connection of property is, the knowledge that will be 
thereby procured with respect to the nature, situation, and direction 
of the various dikes and interruptions that have been met with, in 
prosecution of the workings of the respective seams within each 
individual property. By this information, neighbouring collieries, 
towards which the direction of these interruptions tends, may be 
extricated from a too fatal security, and led to make those preparations 
to meet approaching evils, the necessity of which could not otherwise 
have been foreseen, ignorant as they must have been that any disaster 
was likely to happen. 

The objection may here be urged, that dikes, or other interruptions, 
frequent in collieries, vary their direction, and often disappear in 






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APPENDIX. 



333 



individual workings. But this will not materially diminish the advan- 
tages that must accrue in a general point of view; for where any 
serious interruption to the progress of the workings is apprehended, 
prudence dictates the use of those precautions which are necessary to 
its discovery, as well as of those means which are requisite to ascertain 
the full extent of its effects. And as the steps proper for this inquiry 
may generally be followed without much inconvenience, security, drawn 
out of this fund of associated information, may thus be purchased at a 
very moderate expense. 

Naturally growing out of this plan will be the history of the various 
seams within the neighbourhood, their relative connections, and their 
continuity through this district; points, which at present, strange as 
it may appear in a country so peculiarly adapted for discoveries of 
this nature, are very imperfectly known. This history, gathered from 
such authentic documents, presents many advantages. The proprietor 
becomes acquainted with the value and importance of his property; 
the resources of this country, in the invaluable article of coal, are 
reduced within the limits of calculation; and the adventurer, who 
risks his fortune in those expensive and hazardous undertakings, the 
winning and working of coals, procures to himself a degree of confidence 
in the attempt, to animate his labours, and to strengthen the hope of a 
successful issue. 

But the further and more important consideration which so forcibly 
urges the adoption of the plan, to which the present hints are directed, 
appears to be, that of transmitting to posterity such authentic informa- 
tion relative to the limits of every particular waste, and the full extent 
of the workings in the respective seams, as to preclude (except by great 
negligence or inattention) the possibility of any subsequent workings 
approaching the old wastes too abruptly; thereby placing the lives of a 
valuable description of men, as well as the property of individuals, in 
much greater security, and preventing those destructive and melancholy 
consequences which have but too frequently happened in this country, 
from the total want, in most instances, of such information. The pre- 
caution of previous boring may, by some, be said to provide all the 






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APPENDIX, 



I 



requisites for preventing the evil complained of. But independently 
of the expense to be incurred by such a process, it is impossible, 
in many seams of a tender quality, to pronounce on the sufficiency 
of a barrier to withstand the weight of water that may be lodged 
against it, in extensive wastes ; or even to guard against the frequent 
negligence of the workmen employed in boring, to prove the extent of 
the barrier. Yet the present ignorant state of the country respecting 
this subject is such, and the limits of old wastes, from which the coal 
has been wrought prior to the period of traditional testimony, are so 
imperfectly known, that the remains of old pits, traced on the surface, 
are the only circumstances to enforce the use of those precautions on 
which rest so many important consequences. The frequent fallacious 
ness, however, of such appearances on the surface, and the fatal effects 
that have ensued from too great security in matters of this nature, 
are too well known to those interested in the working of collieries, to 
require more to be said in favour of a plan, which has for its object 
the collection of such information as will remove every doubt on so 
important a subject. 

I would not be thought by this representation, to entertain the most 
distant view of infusing into the minds of workmen a distrust of their 
employers, or a want of confidence in their anxiety to use those means 
which are necessary for their preservation. Neither would I be with- 
held, by a false delicacy, from a review of those consequences which, 
when maturely considered, may lead to the establishment of a plan for 
procuring information, that will provide for the more permanent safety 
both of persons and property. 

Since, therefore, interest and humanity favour the introduction of 
such a plan, I shall proceed to the Hints for that purpose, which I 
proposed to submit to the consideration of the society. 

I. That an office be established in Newcastle, for collecting, 
arranging, and registering the various informations to be from time 
to time communicated by those persons who are interested in the 
collection and preservation of such information. 

II. That the proprietors of collieries in the neighbourhood be 



APPENDIX, 



33S 



solicited to subscribe to this institution, and requested to direct their 
agents or viewers to deliver into the office, so established, plans of the 
boundaries of their respective properties; and the linings of the work- 
ings within the several seams that are in working, with a description of 
the nature and direction of the interruptions met with in the progress 
of the works; the thickness of the respective seams; their depth from 
the surface; and the number, situation, and thickness of the bands 
existing within them. 

III. That a Committee be formed of the principal proprietors 
resident in or near Newcastle, who shall appoint a superintendent, 
acquainted with the principles of conducting collieries, to lay down on 
plans, the various linings of the respective seams; and to arrange and 
insert into books, prepared for that purpose, all the information which 
shall from time to time be received respecting dikes, or other interrup- 
tions that may occur; together with every other sort of communication 
relating to the collieries, that may be delivered into the office. The 
linings to be likewise inserted in the books, containing the report of 
each individual colliery, and in their proper places, agreeable to the 
dates when taken. 

IV. That the plans of the respective boundaries delivered into this 
office, by the different proprietors, be reduced by the superintendent 
to one common standard, and the linings laid down on the same 
principles; that the connection between the various properties may be 
ascertained with greater ease, and the direction of the dikes, and other 
interruptions met with in the works, may be traced through the plans 
of adjoining collieries with more exactness. By these means the 
occupiers may reap the reciprocal advantages of such connection of 
property, and description of dikes, etc., by obtaining time to make the 
necessary preparations to meet approaching inconveniences, of which 
they otherwise would be ignorant; and thus the evil become the more 
intolerable, from the want of proper means to resist it. 

V. That a power be invested by the subscribers to this institution, 
in the Committee for the time being, to direct occasional views of the 
different collieries connected with the establishment, and to compare 



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336 



APPENDIX, 



the plans of the linings with the extent of the workings. This is more 
especially requisite when a colliery gives up working any particular 
seam; in order to ascertain the precise limits of the waste at the 
moment the works cease. For on this very circumstance depends, in 
a great measure, the security which subsequent workings will derive 
from such collected information. As this is a point to which so much 
consequence is attached, it is hoped the proprietors will excuse the 
solicitude here expressed to procure the most perfect intelligence 
relating to this subject; and that they will therefore give directions to 
their agents to transmit to the office, early notice of their intentions 
with respect to this particular; so as to allow sufficient time to make 
the necessary examination before the means of descending into the 
workings are removed. 

VI. In order to place the information intended to be collected on 
the most secure footing, it may not be improper to include in the 
linings, the situation of the winning pit, or the pit from which the 
linings commence in each particular seam, by a course and distance 
from the centre of the shaft, to any prominent and permanent object on 
the surface, that shall be contiguous to the shaft : and that the situation 
so fixed, be recorded along with the linings. By this arrangement, the 
evils arising from the loss of plans may be prevented, and the situation 
of the pit, as well as the extent of the waste, ascertained, by laying 
down the linings on the surface from the object so selected. 

VII. As a collection of the borings made within the neighbourhood, 
will form an important part of the present scheme, it is confidently 
expected that the members of the institution will contribute to so 
desirable an end, by permitting the particulars of those made within 
their respective properties to be transmitted to the office, for insertion 
in a book kept expressly for that purpose. 

VIII. That the situation of each particular bore-hole be laid down 
on the respective plans; which will assist the formation of the general 
history of the seams, by intimately connecting the various intelligence 
necessary for that purpose. 

XX, That all who may become members of this institution, shall 



APPENDIX. 



337 



have recourse to the office when they think proper; and shall be at 
liberty to extract from it such information as they may require. The 
terms on which non-subscribers may be permitted to receive informa- 
tion from this institution, to be determined by the Committee appointed 
in conformity to the third article of this scheme. 

Should those hints be thought to merit farther consideration, may 
it not be deemed expedient to appoint a Committee, selected from 
amongst the members of the Society, to digest them, and to make 
such additions as a review of the subject, after mature deliberation, 
may suggest; and that copies of the plan so arranged, be forwarded to 
the different coal-owners for their consideration ? 



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APPENDIX B. 

The following is believed to be a complete list of the lectures which 
have been delivered in connection with the Literary and Philosophical 
Society. 

The number given is the number of lectures delivered. 

1803. 

Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics (twenty-one), by the Rev. 
W. Turner. 

1804. 

Electricity and Galvanism, Magnetism and the Philosophy of Chemistry 
(twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1804—5. 
Chemistry and its application to the Arts (thirty-two), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1806. 
Optics and Astronomy (twenty-two), by the Rev. W. Turner. 



i 



1807. 

The Philosophy of Natural Appearances (twelve or fourteen), by the Rev. 

W. Turner. 
Botany (ten), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1808. 
Theoretical and Practical Mechanics, by the Rev. W. Turner. 






340 



APPENDIX, 
1809. 



Hydrostatics and Pneumatics, or on the Mechanics of Fluid Bodies (twenty- 
one), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1 8 10. 
The Philosophy of Natural History (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1811. 
Optics and Astronomy, by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1812. 
The Animal Kingdom (twenty-one), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1813. 
The Vegetable Kingdom (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1814. 
The Mineral Kingdom (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1815. 
The Elements of Chemistry (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 



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181 5— 16. 

The Application of Chemistry to the Arts, Manufactures, Domestic Economy, 
Agriculture, etc. (thirty-two), by the Rev. W. Turner. 



1817. 
Electricity and Electro-Chemistry, Magnetism, and the Philosophy of 
Natural Appearances (twenty-three), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1818. 
Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics, by the Rev. W. Tumor. 



1819. 
Optics and Astronomy, by the Rev. W. Turner, 



APPENDIX. 



341 



1820—21. 
Natural History, particularly of the Animal Kingdom, by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1822. 
The Vegetable Kingdom (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1822 — 23. 
The Mineral Kingdom (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1824 — 25. 
Chemistry (twenty-four), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1825 — 26. 

Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics (twenty-one), by the Rev. W. 

Turner. 
Astronomy, Introductory, by Mr. H. Atkinson. 

1827. 

Astronomy (ten or twelve), by Mr. H. Atkinson. 

Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics, by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1827—28. 
The Animal Kingdom (twenty-one), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1829. 
The Vegetable Kingdom (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

1830. 

Mineralogy and Geology (twenty), by the Rev. W. Turner. 

Origin and Progress of Civil Society (six), by the Rev. W. Turner, Jun. 

1830—31. 
Optics and Astronomy, by the Rev. W. Turner. 
Acoustics (one), by Professor Adams. 
The History and Progress of Knowledge and Education (four), by Mr. 

W. A. Mitchell. 
The Subject and Claims of Hebrew Learning (one), by the Rev. J. Whitridge. 



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APPENDIX, 



1831—32. 

The Phenomena of Natural Appearances, by the Rev. W. Turner. 
Electricity and Electro-Magnetism (six), by Mr. Hugh Lee Pattinson. 
Political Economy, by Mr. — Amaud. 

The Structure and Functions of the Eye (one), by Mr. T. M. Greenhow. 
Architecture, by Mr. Higham. 

1833. 
The Improvement of the Mental Faculties, and the means of facilitating the 

acquirement of Knowledge (three), by Dr. W. H. Crook. 
Mechanics, Hydrostatics, and Pneumatics, by the Rev. W. Turner. 
Chemistry (twenty-two), by Mr. James F. W. Johnston. 

1834. 
Mineralogy and Geology (twenty), by Professor Phillips. 

1835. 
Phrenology (sixteen), by Mr. George Combe. 
The Laws of Organic and Inorganic Nature (six), by Dr. Knott. 

1836. 
The Philosophy of the Human Mind (twelve), by Mr. John Taylor. 
The British Poets (six), by Mr. James Montgomery. 
The Steam Engine, and its application to transport by Land and Water 

(twelve), by Dr. Dionysius Lardner. 
The State of Education in Ireland (one), by Mr. Robert Ingham, M.P. 
Educational Philosophy (eight), by Mr. James Simpson. 



1837. 
The Science of Music, and on the genius and character of the most cele- 
brated Composers (twelve), by Professor Adams. 
The Principles of Art (twelve), by Mr. W. Warren. 
Botany (twelve), by Sir William J. Hooker, LL.D. 
Dramatic Literature (six), by Mr. J. Sheridan Knowles. 

1838. 

The Study of Mathematics, Astronomy, etc. (two), by Mr. Snape. 
English Vocal Harmony (four), by Professor Edward Taylor. 



APPENDIX, 
1839. 



343 



The Education of the Blind and of the Deaf and Dumb (two), by Mr. Collier. 
The Harmony and Order of Celestial Phenomena (twelve), by Professor 

Nichol, LL.D. 
Medical Jurisprudence (one), by Dr. Lynch. 
Practical Chemistry (one), by Mr. Glover. 

The Advantages of the Study of Botany (one), by Mr. John Thomhill. 
The Animal Kingdom (twelve), by Professor T. Rymer Jones. 

1840. 
The Antiquities of Egypt, or more properly on the Origin of the Worship of 

Animals, of Polytheism, Mythology, and Idolatry (fourteen), by the 

Marquis di Spineto. 
The Imperfectness of Historical Record (two), by Mr. James Montgomery. 
Acoustics and Optics (fifteen), by Mr. Robert Addams. 
The Law of Storms (two), by Professor Espy. 

1841. 
The Present State of the British Drama (one), by Mr. Eugene Macarthy. 
The Application of Mineralogy to the Arts and Manufactures (twelve), by 

Dr. Andrew Ure. 
The Structure and Functions of Insects (four), by Mr. Henry Goadby. 
Mathematics, their value as a Mental Discipline (one), by Mr. Snape. 
The Applications of Chemistry to Medicine (one), by Dr. Glover. 
Electricity and its Related Branches (fifteen), by Mr. Addams. 
Geology : the general arrangement of Rocks and of the Composition and 

Deposition of Coal (two), by Mr. King. 

1842. 

Astronomy and Geology (ten), by Mr. D. Macintosh, Jun. 
America (six), by Mr. J. S. Buckingham. 
India and England (two), do. 
Chemistry (twenty), by Mr. Robert Addams. 
Glaciers (one), by Mr. Sopwith. 

1843. 
The Subordinate Characters in the Plays of Shakespeare (eight), by Mr. 
C. Cowden Clarke. 






344 



APPENDIX. 



i 



The Early History, Present State, and Future Prospects of Poland (three) 
by Count H. Krasinski. 

1844. 

The Means, Advantages, and Duty of Intellectual Cultivation (one), by 

Mr. Snape. 
Combustion and Respiration (two), by Dr. Glover. 
Hydro-Electricity (two), by Mr. W. G. Armstrong. 
Animal Mechanics (two), by Dr. Embleton. 
Economic Geology (two), by Mr. Sopwith. 
Phonography (one), by Mr. Barkas. 
English Poetry (eight), by Mr. C. Cowden Clarke. 



1845. 
English Church Music (six), by Professor Edward Taylor. 
Geology (twelve), by Professor Ansted. 
The Employment of a Column of Water as a Motive Power for propelling 

Machinery (three), by Mr. W. G. Armstrong. 
Agricultural Chemistry and Geology (twelve), by Professor Johnston. 
The Characteristics of the different styles of Gothic Architecture, by the 

Rev. J. C. Bruce. 

1846. 

The Subordinate Characters of Shakespeare's Plays (eight), by Mr. C. 

Cowden Clarke. 
Pneumatics (one), by the Rev. J. C. Bruce. 
The Divina Commedia, by Signor Bompiani. 
The Races of Men (six), by Dr. Knox. 
The Social and Literary State of Italy from 1746 to our own time (one), by 

Signor Bompiani. 

1847. 

English Granmiar as a portion of English Scholastic Education (one), by 

Mr. Snape. 
Castellated Architecture (five), by the Rev. J. C. Bruce. 
The Chivalric and Epic Poetry of Italy (three), by Signor Bompiani. 
The Sanitary Condition of Newcastle (one), by Dr. Robinson. 
The Circulation of the Blood (four), by Dr. Embleton. 



•1 

i 



APPENDIX. 



345 



The Origin, Progress, and Extinction of the Italian Banditti (one), by Signor 
Bompiani. 

1848. 
The Comic Writers of England ffour), by Mr. C. Cowden Clarke. 

1848—49. 

The Roman Wall (five), by the Rev. J. C. Bruce. 

The Celebrated Literary Women of Italy (one), by Signor Bompiani. 

Attempts to localise the Nervous Functions and Phrenology (two), by Dr. 

Glover. 
The Respiration of Animals and Plants (two), by Dr. Embleton. 
The English Dramatic Poets who preceded Shakespeare (two), by Mr. John 

Turner. 
The European Volcanoes (two), by Dr. Charlton. 

1849—50. 

The Curiosities of Natural History (six), by Professor T. Rymer Jones. 

The Bible in the Dark Ages (one), by the Rev. Dr. Gilley. 

The History of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England (one), by Mr. J. S. 

Lotherington. 
Ecclesiastical Statesmen (four), by the Rev. J. G. Rogers. 
The Circulation of the Blood (two), by Dr. Robinson. 
Early Italian Navigators (one), by Signor Bompiani. 
The Plagues of Europe (one), by Dr. Heath. 
The Minor Dramatic Poets Contemporary with Shakespeare (four), by 

Mr. John Turner. 
Nature and Art (one), by the Rev. Dr. Davies. 

The Distribution and Division of Wealth (three), by Mr. George Ramsay. 
Certain of the more Obscure Poets of the Age of Elizabeth (one), by the 

Rev. R. C. Coxe. 
The Philosophy of Medicine (one), by Dr. Glover. 

1850—51. 

Ornamental Art (five), by Mr. R. N. Wornum. 

The History and Genius of the German Language (one), by Mr. J. D. 

Lowenberg. 
Great Cities of the Ancient Worid (three), by the Rev. J. G. Rogers. 






•fl 



i 



I; 



M 



346 



APPENDIX, 



;!': 



^ 






.1 
i I 

I 



Newcastle-upon-Tyne : its Memorabilia and Characteristics (three), by 

Mr. G. Bouchier Richardson. 
Language as an Instrument of Thinking and Communicating Thought 

(one), by Dr. Dodd. 
Poetry, Painting, and Music, their Attributes and Mutual Relations (one), 

by Mr. W. Sidney Gibson. 
The Philosophy of Liberal Studies (two), by Mr. James Snape. 
The Connection of the Mind with the Organisation of the Brain and Nerves 

(one), by Sir John Fife. 
The Revolution in Italy, headed by Arnaldo di Brescia, di Rienzo, Giovanni 

da Procida, and Massaniello (three), by Signor Bompiani. 
Peter the Hermit, the First Crusader (one), by Mr. William Bainbridge. 
Some account of Bishop Hall's " Mundus Alter et Idem" (one), by the 

Rev. R. C. Coxe. 
Printing (two), by Mr. R. Burdon Sanderson, Jun. 
The Life and Writings of Akenside (one), by Dr. Robinson. 
English Secular Music (four), and one on English Sacred Music, by Prof. 

Sir H. R. Bishop. 
The late Discoveries of changes in the appearance of the Planet Saturn 

(one), by the Rev. Prof Chevallier. 



1851—52. 
Chemistry (six), by Professor Pepper. 
The Picturesque of Early History and the Ideal of Ancient Egypt (two), by 

Mr. Josiah Gilbert. 
Popular Botany (four), by Mr. Daniel Oliver, Jun. 
The English Border during the Middle and Later Ages (two), by Mr. G. B. 

Richardson. 
Cell Life and Sound (two), by Dr. Heath. 

Language as a Medium for Communicating Thought (one), by Dr. Dodd. 
The Extinct Gigantic Birds of New Zealand (one), by Dr. Embleton. 
The Rise and Fall of the Spanish Power (three), by the Rev. J. G. Rogers. 

1852-53. 

Astronomy (six), by Professor Nichol. 
The Harp (three), Mr. F. Chatterton. 

The Advantages derivable from Archa:ological Investigation (one), by 
Dr. Daniel Wilson. 



y 



APPENDIX, 



347 



Japan and the Japanese (two), by Dr. C. P. Downing. 

The Causes and Prevention of Accidents in Coal-mines (one), by Dr. George 

Fife. 
The Bayeux Tapestry (five), by the Rev. J. C. Bruce. 
Calico Printing (three), by Mr. William Crowder. 
Reading, by Miss Glynn. 
Photography, by Mr. A. S. Stevenson. 
Electricity, Galvanism, and Electro- Magnetism (six), by Prof. Pepper. 

1853—54. 
The Old English Ballads (two), by Mr. Samuel Reay. 
India (three), by Dr. Buist. 

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic (six), by Mr. C. Knight Watson. 
Archaeological Discoveries in the East (one), by Mr. C. Fiott Barker. 
The Physiology of Plants (six), by Dr. Edwin Lankester. 

1854-55. 
The Heroes of the English Commonwealth (four), by Mr. P. E. Dove. 
The Border and its Men (two), by the Rev. J. H. Paterson. 
Light and Heat (six), by Prof. Hunt. 
Thomas Hood (one), by Mr. C. Cowden Clarke. 
Shakespeare (three), by Mr. John Taylor. 

The Local Memorials of George Stephenson (one), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 
The Arctic Regions (one), by Lieut. Bedford Pim. 

1855—56. 

Four of the Great European Novelists, by Mr. C. Cowden Clarke. 

The Harp and Harp Music (two), by Mr. F. Chatterton. 

The Phenomena and Theory of Revolving Storms (four), by Mr. Thomas 

Dobson. 
Popular Scientific Errors (two), by Dr. Edwin Lankester. 
Arctic Discovery (one), by Captain Collinson. 
Extinct Animals (two), by Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins. 
The Siege of Kars (one), by Dr. Sandwith. 

1856—57. 
The Field Sports of Scotland (two), by Mr. P. E. Dove. 
The Arctic Regions (one), by Captain Bedford Pim. 



;;ti' 



f 



348 



APPENDIX, 



The Manufacture of Glass and Iron (six), by Mr. Crowder. 

The Songs of Scotland (one), by Mr. George Brewis. 

The Music of Various Nations (two), by Mr. Phillips. 

Marine Zoology (four), by Mr. P. H. Gosse. 

Music (two), by Mr. Henry Phillips. 

Astronomy (four), by Professor Nichol. 

Drawing (two), by Mr. John Burnet. 

Light and Chemistry (six), by Mr. Pepper. 

Three Dramatic Readings, by Mr. Henry Nicholls. 

Trajan's Pillar (four), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Phonography (one), by Mr. T. P. Barkas. 

The Moon (one), by Mr. John Watson. 

Poetic Literature (four), by Mr. Gerald Massey. 

The Origin of the Names of Places, Rivers, and Mountains, particularly in 

Northumberland (one), by Dr. Dodd. 
The Fancies of Science (one), by Mr. Hargreaves. 



1 



1857—58. 
Poetry and Painting (four), by Gerald Massey. 
Subjects of Natural History (three), by William Kidd. 
Music (two), by Henry Phillips and Mrs. Robert Grosvenor. 
Cromwell (one), by the Rev. G. R. Moncreiff. 
Lepers and Leper Houses (one), by Dr. Charlton. 
Recent Astronomical Discoveries (four), by Professor Nichol. 



1859. 



This year the new Lecture Room was being built. 



1860—61. 
The Prevention of Accidents in Coal-mines (one), by Mr. P. H. Holland 
The Ballads and Legends of Northern Europe (one), by Dr. Charlton. 
The Solar Eclipse of i860 (one), by the Rev. Prof. Chevallier. 
Roman Coins : their Historical, Architectural, and Artistic Uses (one), by 
the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

The Fate of Sir John Franklin and his Companions (one), by Captain 

W. Parker Snow. 
Voltaic and Magnetic Electricity (three), by Mr. Edward Wheeler. 






APPENDIX, 



349 



Samuel Pepys and his Diary (two), by Mr. George Dawson. 

Cardinal Wolsey : his Genius and his Views (two), by Dr. J. C. Daniel. 

Flesh-Forming Food and Animal Food (two), by Dr. Lankester. 

The Romantic Poets of the Nineteenth Century, by Prof. John Nichol. 

A Personal Visit to the Seven Churches of Asia and Fairies (two), by the 

Rev. Henry Christmas. 
An Evening with Thomas Hood (one), by Mr. Walter Bowton. 
Three Dramatic Readings, by Mr. Henry Nicholls. 
Queen Elizabeth (two), by Dr. Daniel. 
Egypt and Syria (three), by the Rev. John Sibree. 
Elocution (three), by Prof. Greenbank. 
The Occult Powers of Nature (one), by Mr. Robert Hunt. 



V 



\\ 



1861—62. 

John Bunyan— Old Books (two), by Mr. George Dawson. 

Physical Geography (six), by Prof. Ansted. 

The Harp (three), by Mr. F. Chatterton. 

Geology (six), by Professor Morris. 

Readings (three), by Mr. Walter Rowton. 

Electricity, Spectrum Analysis, and the New Dyes from Coal Tar (three), 

by Dr. Dalzell. 
The Four Stuarts (four), by Dr. Daniel 

1862—63. 

Readings (three), by Mr. Henry Nicholls. 

Readings (three), by Rev. J. M. Bellew. 

On Character in the Fine Arts (two), by Mr. J. Bell. 

The Welsh Harp (three), by Mr. F. Chatterton. 

Astronomy (six), by Prof. A. Herschell. 

Chemistry (three), by Dr. Dalzell. 

Chemistry (six), by Dr. H. M. Noad. 



1863—64. 
Iron as applied to Steam Engines and Natural Laws (two), by Mr. William 

Fairbairn. 
Telegraphy (two), by Mr. N. J. Holmes. 
The Philosophy of Mathematics (six), by Rev. James Snape. 



^' 



II 




) 



If 



350 



APPENDIX. 



Mechanical Engineering (eight), by Mr. J. F. Spencer. 
Hydraulic Machinery (one), by Mr. Percy Westmacot. 
Elocution (three), by Prof. Greenbank. 
Textile Fibres and Fabrics (three), by Prof. Archer. 

Martin Luther, Erasmus, and Dr. Johnson (three), by Mr. George Dawson. 
Ornamental Art (four), by Mr. C. Draper. 
Modem German Literature (three), by Prof. Kinkel. 

Microscopical Investigation, as applied to Geology (two), by Prof. Rupert 
Jones. 

Vocal Part Music (two), by Prof. John Hullah. 
The History of Chemistry (six), by Dr. Bernays. 
Physical Geography (four), by Mr. E. W. Brayley. 

1864—65. 

Hamlet, Shakespeare, and Sir Thomas More (three), by Mr. George 

Dawson. 
The Harp (three), by Mr. F. Chatterton. 

The Uses of Mammalia, Birds, and Insects (three), by Prof Archer. 
Readings (two), by Rev. J. M. Bellew. 
Modem Pianoforte Music, by Mr. William Rea. 
Readings (two), by Mr. Henry Nicholls. 
The Distribution of Species and the Unity of the Human Species (two), by 

Prof Rolleston. 
Greek Art (two), by Prof. Kinkel. 
Biology (one), by Dr. Gibson. 

The Transition Period of Musical History (three), by Prof. John 
Hullah. 

Organic Chemistry (six), by Dr. Bemays. 

Thomas Amold and Thomas Chalmers, and Hugh Miller's " Testimony of 

the Rocks" (two), by Rev. George GilfiUan. 
Magnetism, and its applications to Modem Inventions (two), by Mr. N. J. 

Holmes. 

Modem Pianoforte Music (two), by Mr. William Rea. 

1865—66. 

The Physical Accompaniments of the Mind (three), by Prof. Bain. 

Readings (three), by Rev. J. M. Bellew. 

Paintings and Painters (two), by Mr. Henry Ottley. 



ifei 



APPENDIX, 



351 



The Runic Inscriptions of Great Britain (one), by Dr. Charlton. 

The Relations of Great Men to Women (two), and Thackeray's "Vanity 

Fair," by Mr. George Dawson. 
The Mechanical Properties of Air (three), by Prof. Pepper. 
The Evidences of Geological Time (three), by Prof, A. C. Ramsay. 
Mozart (two), by Mr. William Rea, 
Age of Ice in Scotland and Characteristics of Scottish Scenery (two), by 

Rev. H. W. Crosskey. 
Personal Travels in Greece (one), by Mr. G. O. Trevelyan, M.P. 
The Ocean (two), by Mr. W. Page. 
Electrical Torpedoes (two), by Mr. N. J. Holmes. 
Natural History (two), by Rev. T. Hincks. 



1866—67. 
Prevailing Errors on the Mind (three), by Prof. Bain. 
Cosmical Philosophy (three), by Prof Brayley. 
Coal and Coal Formations (three), by Mr. Page. 
Shells and their Inhabitants (two), by the Rev. T. Hincks. 
Solar and Stellar Chemistry, by Prof Roscoe. 
The Genius and Works of Hogarth, Leech, and Landseer (three), by the 

Rev. A. L. Simpson. 
The Progress of Telegraphy (two), by Mr. N. J. Holmes. 
The New England States (three), by Mr. Moncure D. Conway. 
Readings (two), by Miss Murray. 

The Times of the Reformation (three), by Mr. J. A. Froude. 
Unitary System of Chemistry, or the New Notation (three), by Prof. 

Bemays. 
Structural and Systematic Botany (four), by Prof Henslow. 
Mozart's Operas (two), Mr. William Rea. 
The Absorptive and Radiative Properties of Bodies with reference to Heat, 

Light, Spectrum Analysis, etc. (three), by Prof Balfour Stewart. 
Travelling by Sea in the i8th and 19th Centuries (two), by Mr. J. F. Spencer. 
Common Air, by Dr. R. Angus Smith. 
Chemistry (twelve), by Prof. Freire-Marreco. 

1867—68. 

Recent Investigations in Geology (three), by Prof. Ansted. 
Nature in the Tropics (three), by Mr. A. R. Wallace. 



352 



APPENDIX, 



Recent and Fossil Birds (two), by Prof. Owen. 

The Tumuli of the Yorkshire Wolds, by the Rev. W. Greenwell. 

Readings (three), by Miss Murray. 

The Heat of Chemical Action (three), by Prof. Odling. 

Milton (three), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 

The Animals of the Ancient Writers, Sacred and Profane (three), by Prof. 

Rolleston. 
The Antiquity of Man in the South- West of England (three), by Mr. 

Pengelly. 
The Philosophy of Physical Science in its Most Recent Developments (four), 

by Mr. Robert Hunt. 
Recitals : Pianoforte and Vocal Music (three), by Mrs. J. Macfarren. 
An Old Greek War (one), by Mr. G. O. Trevelyan, M.P. 

1868—69. 

Italy's Place in PoHtics, Science, and Letters (three), by Prof. Leone Levi. 
The Crust of the Earth (one), by Mr. J. B. Simpson. 
The Pendulum and its application to Horology (one), by Mr. J. G. Allison. 
Fossil Remains in the Northumberland Low Main Coal Seam (one), by Mr. 

T. P. Barkas. 
The Exhaustion of Coal (two), by Prof. Jevons. 
Three Pianoforte Recitals, by Mrs. Macfarren. 
Botany (three), by the Rev. Prof. Henslow. 
Glimpses of the World's Great Continents (three), by Dr. Page. 
The Involuntary Movements of Animals (two), by Prof. Michael Foster. 
The Distribution of Animals (three), by Prof. Huxley. 
Glaciers of Switzerland and Greenland (three), by Mr. Edward Whymper. 
Lord Halifax, Adam Smith, and William Cobbett (three), by Prof. J. E. 

Thorold Rogers. 
Semitic Folk Lore, Phoenicia, and the Talmud (three), by Mr. Emanuel 

Deutsch. 
The Geological Causes which have brought about the present Scenery of 

Britain (three), by Prof. Geikie. 
Some of the Effects of Heat (three), by Dr. Bernays. 
Coleridge, Scott, and Tennyson (three), by Mr. George Macdonald. 
Colbert's Administration (two), by the Rev. Canon Ashwell. 
Weber and Beethoven (two), by Mr. Rea. 
Chemistry (twenty-five), by Prof. Freire-Marreco. 



\k 



APPENDIX, 



353 



English Language and Literature (twenty- five), by Mr. R. Spence 

Watson. 
Engineering (twenty-five), by Mr. Wallau. 
Mathematics: Senior and Junior Courses (twenty-five each), by Mr. T. 

Dobson. 
Music (twenty-five), by Mr. William Rea and Mr. F. Helmore. 
The Facilities and Grants of Money now offered by the Government for 

Scientific Education (one), by Mr. J. C. Buckmaster. 
Explorations being carried on in Palestine (one), by the Rev. Charles 

Boutell. 

1869—70. 

Sir David Lindsay of the Mount (two), by Prof. Henry Morley. 

Musical History, Discrimination of Style, Music in two Aspects, Art and 
Science (three), by Prof, the Rev. Sir Frederick A. Gore Ouseley. 

The Chemistry of the Breakfast Table (three), by Prof. Bernays. 

The Great Prairies and the Rocky Mountains (two), by Mr. W. Hepworth 
Dixon. 

The Sun (two), by Prof. J. Norman Lockyer. 

The Modes of Sepulture Employed in England from the Fourth to the 
Seventh Centuries (two), by Prof. Rolleston. 

Maritime and Inland Discovery (three), by Mr. Henry Kingsley. 

The Roman Wall (one), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Waves (two), by Prof. W. J. Macquorn Rankine. 

The Ice Age in Britain (three), by Prof. Geikie. 

Mathematics : a Senior and Junior Course, and a Course for Ladies (twenty- 
five each), by Mr. Thomas Dobson. 

The History and Development of the English Language (fifteen), by Mr. 
R. Spence Watson. 

Physics (twelve), by Prof. Freire-Marreco. 

Inorganic Chemistry (six), by Prof. Freire-Marreco. 

Music (twelve), by Mr. Marshall H. Bell. 

Greek (six), by the Rev. Dr. Snape. 

The Study of Language (one), by the Rev. Dr. Snape. 

Two Readings, by Miss Glynn. 

The Fishes and Reptiles of the Carboniferous Period (one), by Mr. T. P. 
Barkas. 

Napoleon I. and Napoleon III. (two), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 

23 



HI 






354 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



355 



1870—71- 

The South African Gold Fields (one), by Sir John Swinburne, Bart 

The Physical Geography and History of the Holy Land, the Sahara, and 

North Africa (three), by the Rev. H. B. Tristram. 
Miracle Plays, with special reference to the Passion Play at Ober- 

Ammergau, 1870 (one), by Mr. R. Spence Watson. 
Solar and Lunar Eclipses, the Stars, and the Nebulae (three), by Mr. R. A. 

Proctor. 
Recent Formations, and the Tales they tell (three), by Dr. Page. 
The Best Society, and the Vexed Question (two), by Miss Emily Faithfull 
Beau Brummell, Letter Writing and Letter Writers, Dean Swift (three), by 

Mr. George Dawson. 
Experiences with the Balloon, Rain (two), by Mr. J. Glaisher. 
The Secular Music of England (three), by Mr. G. A. Macfarren. 
The Philosophy of the Dinner Table (three), by Prof. Bemays. 
Science: its Social and Moral Influence (one), by the Rev. Dr. Snape. 
French Literature on the eve of the Great Revolution (two), by Prof. 

W. B. Hodgson. 
Iceland : its Literature and Folk Lore (three), by Mr. Jon. A. Hjaltalin. 
English Universities (two), by Mr. W. G. Clark. 
The Mechanics of Engineering (twelve), by Mr. Thomas Dobson. 
Mathematics-Junior Course (twelve), by Mr. W. Lyall 
The History of the Enghsh Language (twelve), by Mr. R-Spence Watson 
Music-a General Class and a Class for Ladies (twelve each), by Mr. 

M. H. BeU. ^ ^ . . . . ^ 

From the Atlantic to the Pacific (one), by Mr. T. Eustace Smith, M.P. 
French Literature (twelve), by M. Auguste Anatole Lidgaux 
Science : its Special Value and Moral Influence (one), by the Rev. Dr. 

Boston^anfBaltimore, Education and Elections (one), by Mr. T. Eustace 

Recent^SoJJries in the Carboniferous Strata of Northumberland (one), 
by Mr. T. P. Barkas. 

1871—72. - 
Some Early Ideas in Chemistry (three), by Dr. Odling. 
Two Readings, by Mr. C. Roach Smith. 
Pottery and Porcelain (two), by Mr. W. Chaffers. 



The Saga Literature of Iceland, The Older or Poetic Eddas, The Social and 

Domestic Condition of the Northerners in Early Times (three), by 

Mr. Eirekir Magnisson. 
The Education of Women, the Enfranchisement of Women, National Debts 

(three), by Mrs. W. Garrett Fawcett. 
Sleep : its Uses and Abuses (one), by Dr. Humble. 
The Characteristic Differences between the Histories of England and France 

(one), by the Very Rev. Dean Lake. 
Arctic Explorations (two), by Dr. Rae. 
The Religions of Races (three), by Mr. Moncure D. Conway. 
The Human Senses (two), by Prof. G. Croom Robertson. 
The British Empire (two), by Prof J. R. Seeley. 
Some of the Characteristics of Modern English Literature (one), by Mr. R. 

Spence Watson. 
Palaeontology (three), by Prof. J. Young. 

Science : its Social Value and Moral Influence (two), by the Rev. Dr. Snape. 
Lord Bacon's Philosophy compared with German Thought ; compared with 

English Thought (two), by Dr. J. T. Merz. 
Eclipses (two), by Mr. J. Norman Lockyer. 
The Physical Conditions and the Life of the Deep Sea, the Gulf Stream 

(three), by Prof. W. B. Carpenter. 
Music (twelve), by Mr. Marshall H. Bell. 
Modern English Literature (fourteen), by Mr. R. Spence Watson. 

1872—73. 

Divine Contrivances in Nature (one), by Prof. S. Haughton. 

Water : its Nature, Circulation, and Functions (two), by Prof. Page. 

Art (one), by Mr. G. Redford. 

The Life, Character, and Works of Faraday (two), by Mr. J. H. Gladstone. 

Impressions of India (one), by Mr. T. Eustace Smith, M.P. 

Coleridge, August von Schlegel (two), by Dr. J. T. Merz. 

The Faust Legend (two), by Mr. F. Hiiffer. 

The Progress of Solar Research (two), by Mr. J. N. Lockyer. 

The Two Pitts (two), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 

English Literature in the time of the Commonwealth (two), by Mr. W. B. 

Donne. 
Woman's Education at American Universities, by Miss M. E. Beedy. 



[H 

,i- 



N 



3S<5 



APPENDIX, 



Caedmon, Robert Browning (two), by Mr. R. Spence Watson. 

The Development of Music in Connection with the Drama (two), by Mr. E. 

Dannreuther. 
Stellar Astronomy (two), by Prof. R. Grant. 
Oil Coals, Oil Shales, and Oil Wells (three), by Mr. A. Taylor. 
Polarized Light (two), by Mr. W. Spottiswoode. 
Early Moral and Political Copdition of Mankind (two), by Mr. E. B. Tylor. 

1873—74. 
The Roman Wall— Recent Investigations (two), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 
Recent Explorations in Moab (two), by the Rev. Canon Tristram. 
Robespierre, Danton (two), by Mr. John Morley. 

The Piano, its History, Mission, and Influence (two), by Mr. Carlo Tiesset. 
The Historic Caves and their place in British History, the Neolithic Caves 

and their evidence as to the Ancient Ethnology of Europe (two), by 

Mr. W. Boyd-Dawkins. 
Stein, the Reformer of Prussia (two), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 
Society in the North of England in the last Century (one), by Dr. Charlton. 
The Physical Geography of Inland Seas, Foraminiferal Life past and present, 

(two), by Dr. W. M. Carpenter. 
Travels in the Disguise of a Dervish through various countries in Central 

Asia (two), by Prof. A. Vambery. 
Reminiscences of a Visit to Egypt in 1872 (four), by Sir W. G. Armstrong. 

1874—75- 
The Discovery of the Temple of Diana, The Results of the Excavations at 

Ephesus (two), by Mr. J. T. Wood. 
The Influence of Poetry on Science, Art, and Human Belief; i€sthetic 

Culture (two), by Mr. J. Devey. 
The Legends of Izdubar and the Chaldean Account of the Deluge, Points 

of Contact between the Bible and Assyrian Inscriptions, The Manners 

and Customs of the Assyrians (three), by Mr. George Smith. 
The Closing Scenes of the Earth's Geological History (two), by Prof. W. C. 

Williamson. 
The French Revolution (two), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 
Des Cartes and his Philosophy (one), by Dr. J. T. Merz. 
Claudian, the last of the Roman Poets (two), by Mr. T. Hodgkin (now Dr. 

Hodgkin). 



APPENDIX. 

Reminiscences of a Voyage to Ceylon (one), by Mr. W. J. Barkas. 
Art (two), by Ford Madox Brown. 



357 



1875—76. 

English Dramatic Music (two), by Mr. W. Rea. 

The Geology of Northumberland and Durham (two), by Prof. G. A. 

Lebour. 
The Mythology of our German Forefathers (two), by Mr. Karl Blind. 
Utilitarianism ; Education Reform ; The Prussian System (three), by Prof. 

Blackie. 
Toughened Glass, by Mr. J. D. Cogan. 
Don Quixote, A Recent Tour in America, Literary Forgeries (three), by 

Mr. George Dawson. 
Geology, its Scientific Teachings and Economic Value (two), by Prof. 

Page. 
Shelley, his Life and Poems (two), by Mr. W. M. Rossetti. 
Nine Months in America, American Poets (two), by Miss Emily FaithfulL 

1876—77. 

Cowper, Bums ; Scott, Wordsworth (two), by Prof. J. Nichol. 

The Northumbrian Small Pipes (one), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Domestic Cookery (one), by Mr. J. D. Cogan. 

The Colours of Animals and Plants, their causes and their uses (two), by 

Mr. A. R. Wallace. 
Carl Maria von Weber (two), by Mr. W. Rea. 

The Arctic Regions and the Hudson's Bay Territory (two), by Dr. Rae. 
The Geological History of the Islands of the Ocean as revealed by their 

Birds (two), by the Rev. Canon Tristram. 
Mohammed and Mohammedanism (two), by Mr. R. Bosworth Smith. 
A Visit to the United States (one), by the Hon. E. Lyulph Stanley. 
The History and Eccentric Form of the English Language (two), by Prof. 

Meiklejohn. 
The Poetic Interpretations of Nature as distinguished from the Scientific, 

Wordsworth as an Interpreter of Nature (two), by Principal Shairp. 
An Hour with the Microscope : Carnivorous Plants and Flower-fertilising 

Animals (two), by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 
Giotto's Gospel of Labour (two), by Prof. Sidney Colvin. 



Hi 



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358 



APPENDIX. 



1877-78. 

Popular Russian Tales (two), by Mr. W. R. S. Ralston. 

Two Pianoforte Recitals, by Mrs. John Macfarren. 

Health in Great Cities (two), by Dr. B. W. Richardson. 

Beranger, Victor Hugo (two), by Mr. W. H. Pollock. 

Some Mathematical and Moral Aspects of Gambling (one), by Prof. W. S. 

Aldis. 
The Progress of Sanitary Science, Sanitary Arrangements in Houses (two), 

by Prof. Corfield. 
The Religion and Morality of Shakespeare's Works, Readings from English 

and American Authors (two), by Mr. C. J. Plumptre. 
The History of some of our Domestic Animals (two), by Prof. Rolleston. 
Parody, the Premature in Education (two), by Prof. Meiklejohn. 
Some of the Forms of Poetry as Developed in English Poetry (one), by the 

Rev. Canon Dixon. 
The Growth and Old Age of Worlds (two), by Mr. R. A. Proctor. 
Pottery and Porcelain Glass (two), by Prof. Archer. 
Men of the Italian Renaissance (one), by the Rev. Mandell Creighton. 
Investigations into the Origin and Development of Minute Organic Forms, 

with consideration of the bearing of these upon the origin of Bacteria, 

by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 
The Economics of Mr. Ruskin (two), by Prof. W. B. Hodgson. 
Miss Martineau : her Life, her Writings, her Critics (two), by Mrs. Henry 

Fawcett. 

1878—79. 

Pianoforte Recital (one), by Mr. W. Rea. 

Progress of Science in Japan (one), by Prof. R. W. Atkinson. 

Man: his Relation to the Material Universe (one), by Mr. T. P. Barkas. 

Early Struggles for German Freedom and Union (two), by Mr. Karl Blind. 

Aquileia, the Precursor of Venice (one), by Mr. Thomas Hodgkin. 

The Northumberland Small Pipes (one), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Over Production (one), by Prof. W. Steadman Aldis. 

The Chinese Written Characters: Ancient Chinese Civilisation as indicated 

by the Characters (two), by Prof, the Rev. J. Legge. 
Readings from Popular Authors (one), by Mr. W. J. Morrison. 
Bismarck (one), by Prof. J. R. Seeley. 
Genius, by Dr. Gibson. 



APPENDIX, 



359 



The Dwarf Races of Mankind (two), by Dr. Embleton. • 

Some Characteristic Differences of German and English Literature (one), 

by Dr. J. T. Merz. 
Justinian and his Times (one), by Prof. James Bryce, M.P. 
English Dialects : their Classes and Sounds (two), by Mr. Alex. J. Ellis. 
The Electric Light (one), by Mr. J. W. Swan. 

The Influence of the Bible on Literature (one), by the Rev. J. B. Meharry. 
Central Africa (one), by Mr. Donald Mackenzie. 
Experiences during the present War (one), by Mr. Archibald Forbes. 

1879—80. 

The Northumberland Pipes (one), by the Rev. Dr. Bruce. 

Pianoforte Recital (one), by Miss Hildegard Werner. 

A Literary Lady of the Sixteenth Century (one), by the Rev. Mandell 

Creighton (now Bishop of London). 
Fish and Fisheries (one), by the Rev. Canon Tristram. 
The Duke of Wellington, Theodore Hook (two), by Lord William P. 

Lennox. 
The Great Pyramid (one), by Mr. Waynman Dixon. 
Tyneside before the Norman Conquest (one), by Mr. James Guthrie. 
Edgar Allan Poe (one), by Major Jones. 

The Underground Geology of London (one), by Mr. J. E. Taylor. 
Radiant Matter (two), by Mr. W. Crookes. 
Robin Hood and the Forest Outlaws, Kings and their Fools (two), by 

Mr. Willmott Dixon. 
Niccola Pisano (one), by Mr. Robert Spence Watson. 
The Philosophy of Liberal Studies (one), by the Rev. Dr. Snape. 
Pegasus, or the Story of an Old Horse, by the Rev. Canon Dixon. 
David Hume, Benedict Spinoza (two), by Prof. W. Knight 
Lord Stowell (one), by Mr. Gainsford Bruce. 
The Electric Light (one), by Mr. J. W. Swan. 
Water in Relation to Health (one), by Mr. J. A. Russell. 
Further Researches on the Origin of the Minutest Organisms (one), by the 

Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 
Modern Italy (two), by Mr. Oscar Browning. 
Discovery of Roman Remains at Vinovium (Binchester) (one), by the 

Rev. Dr. Hoopell. 



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APPENDIX, 



• 1880— 8 1. 

Progress of Electric Lighting (one), by Mr. J. W. Swan. 

On the History of the Violin (one), by Miss Werner. 

Mental Powers of the Lower Animals, Mental Evolution (two), by Mr. 

G. J. Romanes, F.R.S. 
Our Musical Form (one), by Mr. W. Rea. 
Life under Water and Underground (two), by Rev. J. G. Wood. 
The Argonauts of '49, or Early Life in California (one), by Mr. Bret Harte. 
Emily Bronte (one), by Mr. T. Wemyss Reid. 

Phosphorescence and Luminous Paint (one), by Prof A. Freire-Marreco. 
The Ancient Inhabitants of Britain (two), by Dr. Embleton. 
Froebel's Educational Principles in the Kindergarten (one), by Miss M. E. 

Bailey. 
Deep Sea Dredging and Corals (two), by Mr. H. N. Moseley, F.R.S. 
The Philosophy of Leibnitz (one), by Dr. Merz. 
The Wives of Poets (two), by Mr. W. M. Rossetti. 
The Doctrine of Evolution : its Strength and Limits ; Poetry and Science 

(two), by Prof. W. Knight 
The Coins of the Bible (one), by the Rev. J. C. Bruce. 
Trade: its Recent Depression and Future Prospects (one), by Prof, the 

Rev. W. M. Ede. 
Continued Researches on the Origin of Life and Development of Lower 

Organisms (two), by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 
Two Odd Fellows, the New Education (two), by Prof. J. M. D. Meiklejohn. 
The Use and Abuse of Language (one), by Mr. E. A. Freeman. 



1881—82. 

A Visit to Madeira in the Winter of 1880-81 (two), by Dr. Embleton. 
The Elements of Musical Composition (one), by Mr. W. Rea. 
Hinduism and Christianity Contrasted (one), by Sir C. E. Trevelyan, Bart. 
A Visit to the Saalburg ; or the Roman Wall in Germany (one), by Mr. 

T. Hodgkin. 
Conference Concert on Mendelssohn (one), by Mr. Carlo Tiesset. 
London English and Glasgow Scotch, a Contribution to British Philology 

(one), by Rev. H. Batchelor. 
The Djmamical Force of Thought (one), by Rev. W. D. Ground. 
Natural and Artificial Colouring Matters (two), by Dr. Stevenson Macadam. 



APPENDIX, 



361 



A Ride through the Ansairiyeh Mountains and Mesopotamia in 1881 (one), 

by Rev. Canon Tristram. 
Dante (one), by Rev. M. Creighton. 
The Storage of Electricity— the Faure Secondary Battery (twice), by Mr. 

J. W. Swan. 
Art in the House (one), by Mr. R. W. Edis. 
The Bearing of Modern Microscopical Work upon some Forms of Disease, 

Life Histories and their Lessons (two), by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger. 
The Tonic Sol-fa System (one), by Mr. J. S. Curwen. 
Language and Literature (one), by Mr. R. Spence Watson. 

1882—83. 

Electricity and Magnetism (twelve), by Dr. C. M. Thompson. 

An Introduction to the Study of Mental Philosophy (six), by Dr. Merz. 

The Development of English Literature since 1789 (twelve), by Mr. Richard 

Hodgson. 
The Opinions of Ancient Philosophers, Historians, and Poets respecting 

Comets (one), Mr. T. P. Barkas. 
" A Trip to Rome " (one), by the Rev. T. Austin. 

The Genius and Poetry of Wordsworth (one), by the Rev. H. Batchelor. 
The Evolution of the Steam Engine (two), by Mr. J. A. Haswell. 
Pianoforte Music : its Writers and Players (one), by Mr. Whatmoor. 
Birth and Death of Worlds (one), by Mr. R. A. Proctor. 
The Great Pyramid (one), by Mr. R. A. Proctor. 
A Visit to Merv (one), by Mr. E. O'Donovan. 
Modem Humourists (one), by Rev. E. Bradley (Cuthbert-Bede). 
Wit and Humour (one), by Rev. E. Bradley (Cuthbert-Bede). 
The Art Season (one), by Mr. Henry Blackburn. 
The Art of Illustration (one), by Mr. Henry Blackburn. 
Colour in relation to Art (one), by Mr. James Sully. 
How the Eye interprets Pictures (one), by Mr. James Sully. 
Hans Andersen (one), by Mr. Edmund Gosse. 
English Poetry 100 years ago (one), by Mr. Edmund Gosse. 
The Transit of Venus, 1882 (one), by Prof. R. S. Ball. 
Comets (one), by Prof. R. S. Ball. 
The Greatness of Northumbria in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries (one), 

by Prof. J. Earle. 
The Danish Invasions and their Effects (one), by Prof. J. Earle. 



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APPENDIX. 



1883—84. 

The Connection between the Fine Arts (one), by Mr. Ford Madox Browne. 

The Idea in Painting (one), by Mr. Ford Madox Browne. 

The House Beautiful (one), by Mr. Oscar Wilde. 

Personal Impressions of America (one), by Mr. Oscar Wilde. 

Kairwan the Holy : a Journey to the African Mecca (one), by the Rev. 

Alexander A. Boddy. 
Festus, the Epic Poem of the Nineteenth Century (one), by Mr. T. P. 

Barkas. 
Modern Eloquence (one), by Mr. W. J. Morrison. 
Vortex Atoms (one), by Prof. Sir W. Thomson. 
Progress in Electric Lighting (one), by Mr. J. W. Swan. 
Animal and Plant Life, with especial reference to Animal Physiology (twelve), 

by Mr. E. A. Parkyn. 
Elizabethan Literature (twelve), by Mr. W. R. Sorley. 
Education in Newcastle (two), by Dr. Spence Watson. 
Life in the Greek Heroic Age (one), by Mr. Andrew Lang. 
The Eclipse of 1882 (one), by Mr. J. Norman Lockyer. 
The Teaching of Science in Elementary Schools (one), Mr. W. Lant- Carpenter. 

1884—85. 

Plant Life (twelve), by Mr. E. A. Parkyn. 

England's Social and Industrial Progress from the Conquest to the Refor- 
mation (twelve), by Mr. G. H. Leonard. 

Adventures among the Great Andes of the Equator (one), by Mr. Edward 
Whymper. 

The High Alps of New Zealand (one), by the Rev. W. S. Green. 

The Correlation of Physical Forces (one), by Dr. G. H. Philipson. 

The Paston Letters (one), by Mr. F. W. Dendy. 

Speech for the Dumb (one), by Mr. B. St. John Ackers. 

Music in its Historical and Biographical Aspects, with Pianoforte Illustra- 
tions (one), by Mr. J. Westwood Tosh. 

Germs and Disease (one), by Dr. Donald MacAlister. 

Lord Collingwood (one), by Mr. Gainsford Bruce, Q.C. 

Readings (two), by Mrs. Scott Siddons. 

A new Putrefactive Organism, with some Deductions concerning the Group 
(one), by the Rev. Dr. Dallinger. 



APPENDIX. 



363 



1885—86. 
The French Revolution from 1789 to 1795 (twelve), by Mr. Arthur J. Grant. 
"The Senses and Nervous System" (twelve), by Mr. E. A. Parkyn. 
Faraday and his Discoveries (one Juvenile), by Principal Garnett. 
The Breath of Life (two Juvenile), by Mr. J. S. Chippendale. 
Water (three Juvenile), Dr. J. T. Dunn. ' 
Readings (two), by Mrs. Scott Siddons. 
Rome, Ancient and Modern (two), by Mr. S. Russell Forbes. 
Man and the Glacial Period (one), by Mr. S. B. J. Skertchly. 
Do Plants think? (one), by Mr. S. B. J. Skertchly. 
A forgotten Bible, or Hesiod, the earliest Greek Moralist (one), by Mr. 

J. C. Tarver. 
The Weather (one), by Professor A. Schuster. 
The Origin and Progress of Gothic Architecture (two), by the Rev. J. R. 

Boyle. 
Europe after the Ice Age (one), by Prof. James Geikie. 
Architecture, the Mistress Art (one), by Prof Baldwin Brown. 
History and its kindred Studies, or the value of Historical Evidence (two), 

by Prof. E. A. Freeman. 
Greater Greece and Greater Britain (one), by Prof. E. A. Freeman. 
Reading (one), by Mr. Charles Merivale. 
Wagner and Parsifal, with illustrations (one), by Rev. P. T. Forsyth. 

Mr. John Morley and the Rev. Alfred Ainger were unable to fulfil their 
engagements. 

1886—87. 
Four Thinkers on Life : Goethe, Shakespeare, Rousseau, and Wordsworth 

(twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton and Mr. G. C. Moore-Smith. 
The Making of the Roman Empire (twelve), by Mr. A. J. Grant. 
Recent and Fossil Crustacea, or an Evening with Crabs and Lobsters 

(one), by Dr. Henry Woodward. 
The Pearly Nautilus, the Cuttle Fish, and its Allies, Recent and Fossil 

(one), by Dr. Henry Woodward. 
Dramatic Readings (two), by Mrs. Scott Siddons. 
The Astronomical Theory of the Great Ice Age (two), by Sir R. S. Ball. 
Pianoforte Recitals: Beethoven, Mendelssohn (two), by Dr. Rea, with 

introductory and analytical remarks by Mr. J. S. Shedlock. 
Footprints on the Sands of Time (one), by Aid. T. P. Barkas. 



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APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX, 



36s 



The Comic Element in Shakespeare's Plays (one), by Rev. Frank Walters. 
Recitals : Schumann, Chopin (two), by Dr. Rea. 
Electricity and Telegraph (three Juvenile), by Dr. Dunn. 
Electricity and Telegraph (three Juvenile), by Mr. Chippendale. 
Bells (one), by Rev. W. R. Haweis. 

1887—88. 

The Forces of Nature, an exposition of the Conservation of Energy (twelve), 

by Mr. Arthur Berr}\ 
Heat and Light (twelve), by Principal Garnett. 

Ancient Tragedies for English Audiences (twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
Ancient Comedies for English Audiences (twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
The Sun, the Earth, and the Moon, Mercury, and Venus, their relation to 

each other (one Juvenile), by Aid. T. P. Barkas. 
The Superior Planets (one), by Aid. T. P. Barkas. 
Comets, Meteors, what and where are the Stars and Nebulas (one), by Aid. 

T. P. Barkas. 
Sound and Music (three Juvenile), by Mr. J. S. Chippendale. 
Readings (two), by Mrs. Scott Siddons. 
The Sea Serpent (one), by Mr. W. E. Hoyle. 

How I crossed Africa from East to West (one), by Commander Cameron. 
The Origin of the Domestic Cat (one), by Mr. J. E. Harting. 
The Nature of Explosions in Gases (one), by Prof. H. B. Dixon. 
Modern Composers of Classical Song (one), by Mr. Carl Armbruster. 

1888—89. 

The Principles of Chemistry (twelve), by Mr. C. W. Kimmins. 
Elizabethan Literature (twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
Electricity and Magnetism (twelve), by Prof. Stroud. 
Milton and his Times (twelve), by Mr. G. L. Dickinson. 

1889—90. 

Earth, Air, and Water, Studies in Physical Geography (twelve), by Mr. 

W. W. Watts. 
Poetry and Teaching of Robert Browning (twelve), by Mr. Owen Seaman. 
Earth History from the Rocks (twelve), by Mr. W. W. Watts. 
Milton's Paradise Lost (twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton. 



1890—91. 

Plant Life, with special reference to Vegetal Biology (twelve), by Mr. M. C. 

Potter. 
History of France and the Netherlands during the Age of the Reformation 

(twelve), by Mr. A. J. Grant. 
The Classification of Plants (twelve), by Mr. M. C. Potter. 
The Making of Modem Europe (twelve), by Mr. W. F. Moulton. 

1891—92. 

The Absolute Monarchy in France (twelve), by Mr. A. J. Grant. 
Human Physiology (twelve), by Mr. E. A. Parkyn. 
Literary Study of the Bible (twelve), by Mr. R. G. Moulton. 
Human Physiology (twelve), by Mr. E. A. Parkyn. 
French Revolution (twelve), by Mr. A. J. Grant. 

1892—93. 

The Sunflower (one), by Mr. Grant Allen. 

Pompeii (one) by Mr. Whitworth Wallis. 

" Tennyson, the Poet of the Age "' (one), by the Rev. H. R. Haweis. 

Electro Metallurgy (one), by Mr. J. W. Swan. 

Napoleon and his Times (twelve), by Mr. J. PL Rose. 

Animal Life (twelve), by Mr. C. Warburton. 

The Victorian Half Century (twelve), by Mr. C. S. Terr\'. 

Darwinism (twelve), by Mr. Hugh de Havilland. 

1893—94. 
Expansion of England in the Eighteenth Century (twelve), by Mr. C. S. 

Terry. 
Elementary Political Economy, or the making and sharing of Wealth, by 

Mr. H. S. Mundahl. 

1894—95. 

Some Modern Electrical Developments (one), by Mr. James Swinburne. 
Life in Northumberland during the Sixteenth Century (one), by Mr. W. W. 

Tomlinson. 
Weighing the Earth (one), by Mr. C. V. Boyd. 
Tolstoi (one), by Sergius Stepniak. 



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366 



APPENDIX, 



Social Evolution (one), by Mr. Benjamin Kidd. 

Art Education (one), by Prof. Herkomer. 

Comic Songs (one), by Mr. N. Kilbum. 

Mental Philosophy (six), by Dr. Merz. 

Climbing and Exploration in the Himalayas (one), by Mr. W. M. Conway. 

Dante (one), by Mr. P. H. Wicksteed. 

The Moon (one), by Mr. J. D. McClure. 

English Madrigal Composers (one), by Dr. Huntley. 

Shakespeare and Music (one), by Dr. J. F. Bridge. 

English Composers of Glees and Madrigals (one), by Dr. Huntley. 

The Realistic Movement and its Meaning (one), by Mr. W. H. Dircks. 

Thomas Paine and the French and American Revolutions (one), by Mr. 

Moncure D. Conway. 
The History of Gothic Architecture (twelve), by Mr. D. H. S. Cranage. 
Modern Novelists (twelve), by Mr. E. J. Mathew. 



1895 — 96. 

English Essayists (twelve), by Mr. E. J. Mathew. 

The Venetian Republics (twelve), by Mr. H. Boyd Carpenter. 

Maria Theresa (one), by Mr. H. S. Mundahl. 

Scenic Art (one), by Prof. Herkomer. 

Quartz Fibres (one), by Prof. C. V. Boyd. 

Buddhist Life and Art (one), by Prof. Rhys Davids. 

The Democratic Painters (one), by Miss Rose Kingsley. 

Light and Colour, or the Study of a Sunbeam (one), by Prof. J. A. Fleming. 

Music in every-day Life (one), by Dr. Huntley. 

The Influence of Dance Forms upon the works of Classical Composers 

(one), by Dr. Huntley. 
Tales of the Scottish Peasantry (one), by Sir George Douglas. 
The Atmosphere and its Relation to Health (one), by Prof. V. Lewes. 
Wagner's Music-Drama : The Nibelung's Ring (one), by Mr. N. Kilburn. 
The Migration of Birds (one), by Mr. Charles Dixon. 
English Church Architecture (two), by Mr. G. H. Blunden. 
Adam Smith (one), by Mr. John Rae. 
Pepys' Diary and its Musical Notes (one), by Dr. Bridge. 
The Troubadours (one), by Mr. Wicksteed. 



i 



VICE-PRESIDENTS. 



1793- 



1795- 



1796. 



1797. 

1799. 
1806. 
1823. 



Stephen Pemberton, M.D. 

Robert Hopper Williamson 

John Clark, M.D., F.R.C.M. Ed. 

William Cramlington 

Malin Sorsbie 

John Ramsay, M.D. 

Ralph Beilby 

Robert Doubleday 

Isaac Cookson 

John Clark, M.D., F.R.C.M. Ed. 

Thomas Bigge 

E. Kentish 

James Losh 

G. W. Bigge 

Rev. J. Collinson, A.M. . 



1797 

1795 

1795 

1795 
1796' 

1796 

1796 

1823 

1832 

1797 

1806 

1799 

1834 
1838 

1837 



APPENDIX C 

HONORARY OFFICIALS OF THE SOCIETY SINCE ITS 

COMMENCEMENT. 



V 



, Year of PRESIDENTS. 

Appointment. 

1793. John Widdrington ..... 

1798. Sir J. E. Swinburne, F.R.S. and S.S.A. Lond. and Perth 

1838. C. W. Bigge 

1850. T. E. Headlam, M.D. . 

1855. Robert Stephenson, M.P., F.R.S. . ' . 

i860. Sir William George (now Lord) Armstrong, C.B. 



Year of Death 
or Resignation. 

1797 

1838 

1850 

1855 

i860 



w 



368 



APPENDIX, 
VICE-PRESIDENTS— r^;///V^/^^//. 



R. C. Coxe, A 



Year of 
Appointment. 

1832. Christopher Cookson 

1833. John Clayton 

1834. T. E. Headlam, M.D. 

1837. Rev. W. Turner . 

1838. John Buddie 
1840. Rev. Dr. Besly 
1846. George Burnett, jun. 
1848. The Rev. (afterwards Ven. Archdeacon) 
1850. Robert Stephenson, M.P. 
1855. W. G. Armstrong, F.R.S. (now Lord Armstrong) 

John Fenwick, F.S.A. 

1857. Hugh Lee Pattinson, F.R.S. 

1859. Sir W. C. Trevelyan, Bart. 

i860. Rev. John Collingwood Bruce, LL.D., F 

1865. E. Charlton, M.D. 

1866. Rev. James Snape 
1875. T. Humble, M.D. 
1878. D. Embleton, M.D. 
1 88 1. Joseph Wilson Swan, F.R.S. 
1891. Thomas Hodgkin, D.C.L., D.Litt. 
1893. Robert Spence Watson, LL.D. . 



SECRETARIES 



1793- 

1796. 
1804. 
1806. 
1809. 
1812. 
1815. 
1821. 
1825. 

1837. 
1843. 
1852. 



Rev. William Turner 
Robert Doubleday 
John Brumell 
John Airey 
John Murray 
Armorer Donkin 

Woods 

Edmondston 
Rev. Anthony Hedley, A.M. 
John Adamson, F.S.A., F.L.S. 
J. T. Brockett 
John Renwick 
Joseph W^atson 



S.A. 



Year 
or 



M. 



of Death 
Resignation. 

1833 
1890 

1850 

1846 

1840 

1857 
1848 
1855 

1855 
i860 

1865 

1859 

1866 

1893 
1875 
1881 

1878 



1837 
1796 
1804 
1806 
1809 
1812 
1815 
182I 
1825 
1856 

1843 
1852 

i860 



APPENDIX, 
SECRETARIES— ^<?;///«f^^^. 



Year of 
Appointment. 

1856. William Kell, F.S.A. 

i860. Thomas Humble, M.D. . 

1 86 1. Robert Calvert Clapham . 

1862. Henry Tuke Mennell 

Robert Spence Watson . 

1882. H. Salvin Pattinson, Ph.D. 

1885. Rev. T. Adams, M.A. 

1886. Prof. J. Herman Merivale, M.A. 
1893. Alfred Holmes 

1895. Frederick Emley . 



TREASURERS. 



1793. 
1798. 
1825. 

1833. 

1835. 
1844. 

1851. 

1864. 

1875. 
1889. 



Thomas Gibson 

William Boyd 

James Smith 

John Spedding 

Robert Boyd 

John Anderson 

R. R. Dees 

Thomas Humble, M.D. 

Thomas Hodgkin, D.C.L., D.Litt 

C. J. Spence 



369 

Year of Death 
or Resignation. 

1862 

1861 

1882 

1862 

1893 
1884 

1886 
1895 



1798 
1825 

1833 

1835 
1844 

1851 

1864 

1875 
1889 



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I 



24 



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INDEX. 



i > 



-»♦«- 



(, 



Abbs, Cooper, 313 
Abolition of Slavery asked for, 9 
Abstract of Deed of Trust, 51 
Actual cost of Society's new building, 98 
Adamson, John, 51, 96 
Adams, Thomas, lectures on Music, 236 
Addams, Robert, 238 
Address to the public from the Society, 208 
Advertising held not academic, 284 
Aerostation, lecture on, 226 
Agreement with North Eastern Railway 
Company, 132, 196 

— with Natural History Society, 312 
Agriculture, Board of, 138, 151 
Agricultural questions at Monthly Meet 

ings, 151 
Agricultural Chemistry and Geology, 

lectures on, by Prof. Johnston, 238 
Alder, Joshua, 313 
Alderman Dodds on "a Free Library," 

Alexandrian Libraries, 173 

America, lectures on, by J. Silk Bucking- 
ham, 238 

Anderson, John, 42 

Anderson, Matthew, 136 

Animal Kingdom, lectures on, by Prof. 
Rymer Jones, 238 

Animal Mechanics, lecture on, by Dr. 
Embleton, 244 

Animal Physiology, lectures on, by George 
Combe, 231 

Ansled, Prof., on Geology, 238 

Antiquarian Society formed, 298 

— guests of Society for many years, 298 

— treasures housed beneath Museum, 298 

— removed to Castle, 298 
Anti-Slavery Society formed, 293 



Apparatus for flying discussed, 164 

— purchase of Dr. Garnett's, 215 

— where now, 216 

— some lent to College, 283 
Apparatus Room, The, 216 

Architect appointed for new building, 65, 

85,89 
Architectural Association, 275 
Armstrong, William, 121, 175 
Armstrong, W. G,, 126, 130, 171, 176 

— SirW. G., 131 

— Lord, 196, 244, 250, 251, 321 
Arnaud, Mr., lectures on Political Econ- 
omy, 228 

Art and Artists, novel lectures on, 256 
Art, principles of, lecture on, by William 

Warren, 236 
Art School, 275 
Assembly Rooms, The Old, 54, 58 

— The New, 34 

Assyrian Excavation Society, 108 
Assyrian tablets, 173 

Astronomy, lectures on, by T. Longstaff, 
227 

— by Henry Atkinson, 227 

— by Prof. Nichol, 237 
Atkinson, Henry, 245 
Atthey, Thomas, 313 

Bainbridgb, William, suggests Law 

Library, 188 
Baird, John, 304 

Baker, Addison John Cresswell, 51 
Baker, Thomas, 308 
Bakewell, Robert, lectures on Geology 

and Mineralogy, 226 
Banks, Sir Joseph, 46 
Banquet to Duke of Sussex, 75 



*^ 1 

•1 






\ 



\\ 



I 



372 



INDEX. 



> 

El 



Banquet at Jubilee of Society, 120 

Barkas, T. P., 170, 249, 276 

Be^ng books, 175 

Beilby and Bewick, 295 

Beilby, Ralph, 295 

Bell, James T., 314 

Bell, Matthew, 51 

Belles Lettres, Thomas Campbell asked to 
lecture on, 231 

Bequest by Robert Stephenson, 130 

Bertram, Charles, 51 

Bewick, Thomas, his first voyage to Lon- 
don, 7 

— friendship with Thomas Spence, 18 

— early ** wood-cuts," 21 

— bust of, 100 

— death of, 109 

— apprenticed to Beilby, 295 

— first wood-block, 295 

— Quadrupeds and British Birds, 295 

— Quadrupeds, 296 

— Birds, no, 303 
Bibliotheque, Nationale, 174 
Bigge, Charles John, 51 

Bigge, Thomas, paper by, on establishing 

Lectureship, 208 
Bill for Durham University, 264 
Bishop of Durham, 213, 314 
Bishop, Sir Henry, 250 
Black Middens, 162 
Blackett, Sir Walter Calverley, 1 10 
Blackie, Prof., 257 
Blenkinsop engine, George Stephenson's 

opinion of, 144 

— explained by Mr. Turner, 165 
Board of Agriculture, correspondence with, 

138. 151 
Board of Education formed, 156 

Bolbeck Hall, 65 

Books, b^ging of, 175 

— bequest of, by Alderman Armstrong, 

— borrowing of, 44, 193 

— battles about, 177 

— keeping and lending of, 177 

— number of, in 1796, 175 

— in 1825, 176 

— in 1827, 183 

— in 1896, 327 

— at Alexandria, 173 

— at Cordova, 173 



Books in Biblioth^ue Nationale, 174 

— in British Museum, 174 

— purchase of, 183, 185, 186, 188, 189 
Book -case, the first, 53 

Book-space, provision of, 56, 57, 192, 195 

Book- worms, 193 

Botanical Garden proposed, 236 

Botany Bay in 1787, 296 

Botany, lectures on, by Sir William J. 

Hooker, 236 
Botanist's Guide through Northumberland 

and Durham, 297 
Bottle Bank, Gateshead, 6, 69 
Boulton, Matthew, bust of, 100 

— replies to coal queries, 141 
Bowman, R. B., 308 

Bowmer, Gervase, replies to coal queries, 

141 
Bradys, The— Pro£ G. S. Brady, F.R.S., 

and H. B. Brady, F.R.S., 313 
Brandling, John, his safety-lamp, 147 

— presides at Town's Meeting on College, 

268 
Brewis, George, on Songs of Scotland, 

249 
Bridge between North and South Shields, 

162 
British Association Meetings in Newcastle, 

315 
British Museum Library, 174 

British Poetry, lectures by James Mont- 
gomery, 233 
British steam tonnage, 234 
Brockett, John Trotter, 50, 51 
Brockett, William Henry, 51 
Brougham, Henry (afterwards Lord), 5 

— his opinion of Society's methods, 48, 

96 

— discovers Lough, loi 
Brown, Ralph, 52 
Browning, Rev. D. C, 270 
Bruce, Rev. Dr., 52, 248, 249, 276 
Bruce, Justice Gainsford, 317 
Bryce, Right Hon. James, 250 
Buckingham, J. Silk, 238 

Buckland, Dr., his Bridgewater Treatise, 

230 
Buddie, John, 120, 317 
Building burned on night of Centenary, 322 
Building Committee (new building), 63, 

65, 74, 88, 90 



;> 



index: 



373 



Bulmer, Joseph, on improvements in 

Bridge and Quay, 161 
Burnet, John, on Drawing, 249 
Burnett, George, the younger, 51 
Burnup, C, contractor for joiners' work 

in new building, 65 
Butler, Charles, 49, 176 

Cambridge, Duke of, 119 

Campbell, Thomas, asked to lecture, 231 

Canal from Newcastle to Hexham, i6i 

Capital punishments inexpedient, J 68 

Captain Cook, 294, 296 

Catalogue, the first in third Annual Report, 

175 

— of 1796, 180 

— of 1801, 180 

— of 1807, 180 

— of 181 1 (books classified), 181 

— of 1819, 182 

— of 1829, 183 

— 1848, 190 

— cost of, 191 

Catalogue, last begun, 1888, but not com- 
pleted yet : Mr. Emley's account of, 197 

Catalogues, supplements to, 180, 182, 185, 
187, 190, 104, 196, 197 

Catalogue of Thomlinson Library in 1829, 

"3 

— since removal to Public Library, 114 

Cayley, Sir George, apparatus for flying, 

164 
Census of Newcastle proposed, 153 
Centenary celebration, 320 
"Chains of Slavery," by Marat, 15 
Chairs, proposed endowment of, 273 
Champollion, Fran9ois, deciphers Rosetta 

stone, 301 

— deciphers inscription on mummy case, 

302 
Changes in demand for lectures, 287 
Charlton, Edward, M.D., 52 
Charnley and Bell, first librarians, 54 
Charnley, Emerson, succeeds William, his 
father, 112 

— proposes Mr. Turner's health at 
banquet, 121 

Charnley, William, and the Thomlinson 

Library, 112 
Chateaubriand on Champollion, 302 
Chat Moss, 167 



Chemical investigations, 37 
Chemical Society, 28 
Chemistry, 43, 214, 223, 266 

— Light as an object of, 137 

— proposed lectures on, 207, 209 

— lectures given on, 2oi8 

— lectures on, by Prof. J. F. W. John- 

stone, 229, 238 

— lectures on, by Robert Addams, 238 

— lectures on, by *' Professor" Pepper, 

249 

— lectures on, by Prof. Freire-Marreco, 

272, 277 
Chief raison d*iire of Society, 260 
Chippendale, J. S., on "The Breath of 

Life," 253 
Cholera stops lectures, 228 
Christian lOiowledge Society, 28 
Circulation of air in mines, 139 
Clanny, Dr., his safety-lamp, 144, 145) 

147, 148, 149 
Clapham, R. C., 52 
Clark, John, M.D., 46 
Clarkson, Thomas, 137 
Classes into which readers divided, 185 
Clayton, John, 255 
Clephan, James, 254 
Coach from Newcastle to London, 6 
Coal, Mr. Turner on, 36 

— queries upon, circulated, 140 
Coal-mines, explosions in, 144 
Coal-Trade, office for, proposed in 1796, 

142 

— all inventions connected with, brought 

before Society, 143 
Coal waggon ways, 143 
Coats, Thomas, presents mummy, 300 
Coins presented : where are they now ? 

296 
College at Newcastle, part of Society in — 

— T. M. Greenhow first brings for- 

ward, 261 

— his papers printed by Society, 264 

— Committee appointed to prepare pros- 

pectus, 264 

— Durham University not to supersede, 

264 

— prospectus presented to Society, 265 

— chairs to be filled by volunteers, 265 

— Mr. Green's plan of building, 265 

— scheme of instruction in, 266 



'I 



V •! 



374 



INDEX, 



INDEX. 



37S 



College at Newcastle, part of Society in — 

— support of local press, 267 

— Town's meeting held, 268 

— Joint Stock Company proposed, 268 

— further papers by Mr. Greenhow, 269, 

270, 271 

— paper by Dr. George Fife, 269 

— Memorial to Corporation, 269 

— Memorial to Queen, 271 

— reasons of failure, 27 1 

— Prof. J. R. Seeley's suggestion, 272 

— correspondence with Durham upon, in 

1867, 272 

— paper to Society upon, 272 

— Committee appointed to consider and 

suggest, 276 

— their report, 277 

— further papers on, 277 

— experiment successfully made, 278 

— nucleus of University, Dr. Bruce on, 

278 

Prof. Seeley on, 279 

Dr. W. B. Hodgson on, 281 

— paper on, at Social Science Associa- 

tion, 1870, 279 
at Society of Arts, 281 

— Mining Institute take up, in 1854, 

282 

— memorialise the Government and 

Charity Commissioners, 283 

— Draft Bill for, 283 

— bring before Durham University in 

1859, without result, 283 

— Committee to confer with Durham 

University in 1869, 283 

— at length, in 187 1, established, 283 

— Society lend rooms and apparatus, 
. 283 

— it finds temporary home with Mining 

Institute, 283 

— merge their work in that of College, 

284 
College of Medicine, 267 
College of Science, 229, 267 
Collingwood, Admiral, 11 
Collinson, Admiral, 255 
Collinson, Rev. John, 307 
Combe, George, 231 
Combustion, lecture on, by Dr. Glover, 

240 
Comet of 181 1, 165 



Committee, 42, 46, 55, 60, 88, 91, 102, 
112, 115, 120, 129, 157, 180, 181, 182, 
183, 187, 189, 190, 194, 206, 227, 231, 
236 

— to draw up plan of Society, 41 

— first committee of Society, 46 

— number of members has been increased, 

47 

— on formation of Library, 47 

— resolve on Deed of Trust, 49 

— to find more suitable accommodation, 

53 

— purchases by, 54 

— treaty of, with Corporation, 58, 60 

— vexatious notices to, 59 

— inscribed on foundation-stone, 73 

— defend the Duke of Sussex, 74 

— on principles of statuary, 102 

— non-payment of accounts by, 118 

— afraid of George Hudson, 125 

— appeal to influential inhabitants, 128 

— with balance in hand, 130 

— circulate questions from Board of 

Agriculture, 139 

— circulate questions on Natural History 

of Coal, 141 

— open meetings on Coal Institute in 

1796, 142 

— open meetings on provision for poor, 

155 

— open meetings on education of poor, 

160 

— contribute all papers to Monthly Meet- 

ing, 170 

— election of members entrusted to, 172 

— "Don Juan" purchased and rejected 

by members, 177 

— find it difficult to keep out fiction, 178 

— purchase of books by, 185, 186, 190 

— making bricks without straw, 193 

— to consider and report on Lectureship, 

212 

— print Mr. Turner's Introductory Dis- 

course thereon, 213 

— collect apparatus, 215 

— paper circulated prior to second course 

of lectures, 217 

— on New Institution, 222 

— prohibition of political economy, 228 

— appoint sub-committee to manage 

lectures, 230 



Committee encourage lectures by mem- 
bers, 248 

— must watch changing demands, 251 

— on Durham University, 264, 270 

— draw up prospectus of College, 265 

— to form Joint-Stock Company for 

College, 268 

— to consider suggestions in Mr. Wat- 

son's paper, 276 

— action thereon taken by, 277 

— to arrange for University Extension 

lectures, 287 

— r^ret want of money for Natural 

History purposes, 294 

— how they dealt with mummy, 300 

— special appointment for Museum, 

304 

— pleasure at formation of Natural 

History Society, 309 

— loan of rooms for Teachers and other 

Societies, 316 

— grapple with fire difficulties, 322 

— report settlement with Insurance Com- 

pany to special meeting, 324 

— small control over domestic Societies, 

328 
Comte's " Philosophie positive," forbidden, 

179 
Controversial Divinity, 177 
Conversation Club, original idea of 

Society, 41 
Conversazione, 125 
Cook, Captain, 294, 296 
Cookson, Christopher, 51, 103 
Coquetdale Angling Songs, 105 
Cordova, Library at, 173 
Cost of new building, 98 
Cost of lectures from 1803, 259 
County Histories, collection of, 187 
Courses of lectures, total number of, 258 
Cowen, Joseph, Jua, 276 
Cramlington, William, 42 
Crawhall, Thomas, 30^ 
Crawley's Company, 38 
Crawlejr's Works, 8 
Crowley, Sir Ambrose, 38 
Creighton, Bishop, 250 
Crowder, Mr., on Manufeicture of Glass 

and Iron, 249 
Cudworth's Intellectual System complained 

of, 177 



Davy, Sir Humphrey, visits North to in- 
vestigate coal explosions, 145 

— reads paper thereon to Royal Society, 

145 
Dawson, George, 257 

Dean and Chapter of Durham, 264 

Dean I^ke makes College at Newcastle 

practicable, 283 

Dean Street, 3 

Debating Societies, restraint of, 14 

Debt of Society faced at once, 99 

Debts, novel method of dealing with, 118 

Deed of Trust, preparation of, 50 

— settled by Mr. Hopper Williamson, 50 

— Execution of, 51 

— Brief abstract of, 51 
Dees, R. R., 52 

— on inexpediency of capital punish- 

ments, 168 

— advocates introduction of works of 

fiction, 189 
Demerara, present of insects from, 298 
Details of restoration after fire, 324 
Deutsch, Emmanuel, 250 
Dewey's plan of cataloguing, Mr. Emley 

on, 198 
Difficulties of middle class at Universities, 

262 
Discoveries by members, 250 
Discovery of Centenary fire, 322 
Dixon, Dixon, 308 
Dobson, Thomas, 278 
Dodd, Dr., on Names of Places, 250 
Dodds, Ralph, on *'a Free Library," 

195 

" Don Juan," fierce fight over, 177 

Doubleday, Thomas, 51, 104 

Dove, P. E., on Field Sports of Scotland, 

249 
Dr. Clanny, 144, 145, 147. 148, I49 
Dunn, J. T., on Water, 253 
Durham, Bishop of, 213, 314 

— College of Science, 207 

— Dean and Chapter of, 264 

— Professors unsuccessfully appealed to, 

272 
Durham University opened, 264 

— Newcastle Chronicle on, 267 

— hopes from, unfulfilled, 270 

— removal to Newcastle suggested, 273 

— helps at last, 283 



1 

i 



j 






I' 

II 



376 



INDEX. 



Early English Text Society give prizes to 

English class, 278 
Education in Ireland, lecture by Robert 

Ingham, M.P., 234 
Education in Newcastle twenty-eight years 

ago, 276 

— eighty- seven years ago, 159 
Education of Poor considered, 156- 161 
Education, lectures on, by George Comlie, 

231 
Educational courses of lectures advocated 
by T. M. Greenhow, 270 

— actually adopted by Society, 272 
Educational Institution, the Society as a, 

273 
Educational Philosophy, lectures by James 

Simpson, 234 
Egypt, Antiquities of, lectures by Marquis 

di Spineto, 238 
Electric Light, Society's own installation, 

325 
Ellison, Cuthbert, 51 

Embleton, Dr., 52, 244 

Emley, Frederick, detailed account of new 

CataJogue by, 197-201 
Endeavours to obtain College in Newcastle, 

261 
Endowment of Chairs needed, 273 
Enfield, Dr., on Cultivation of Taste, 136 

— on distinction between prose and 

poetry, 138 
Engineering lectures by J. F. Spencer, 272 

— English Church Music, lectures by 

Prof. Edward Taylor, 238 
English Language and Literature, lectures 
by Spence Watson, 277 

— University notions about, 284 
Experimental lecture on novel effects of 

Electrical Discharge, given at Centenary 
Celebration by Lord Armstrong, 321 
Eye, The Structure and Functions of, by 
T. M. Greenhow, 228 

Fancy Fair, 127 

Farmers' Club, Society fulfilled objects of, 

152 

— started in Society's rooms and re- 

mained for twelve years, 315 
Fawcett, Henry, 250 
Fellows, utilisation of, 279 
Fenwick, John, 102, 270 



Field Club, 274 

Fife, Dr. George, on College, 269 
Finances getting steadily worse, 126 
Fine Arts Society, 314 

— established under sanction of Society, 

314 

— at first in Central Exchange, 314 

— then below Natural History Society's 

Museum, 314 

— Head Master, W. B. Scott, 314 

— now Art Department of College of 

Science, 315 
Fines for keeping books too long, punctual 

exaction of, 182 
Fire and choke-damp in coal-mines, 139 
Fire at Centenary and origin of, 322 
First Annual Report, 55 
First Conversazione, 125 
First lectures in Newcastle, 203 
First lectures by Mr. Turner, 216 
First purchase of apparatus, 215 
Floor, how restored after fire, 325 
Food Reform Association, 319 
Foreman Engineers' and Draughtsmen's 

Association, 319 
Foundation-stone of New Assembly Rooms, 

34 
Foundation-stone of new building, 72 

Fox, G. T., 299, 303. 313 
France, system of education in, 273 
France and England, mental emancipa- 
tion of, in 1 8th century, 12 
Freeman, E. A., 250 
French Revolution, real causes of, 12 

— feeling in England about, 29 
Fresh appointment of Trustees, 52 
Froude, J. A., 250, 252 

Fruit Growers' Association, 319 

Garnett, Dr., negotiations for lectures 
by, in 1798, 206 

— purchase of his apparatus, 21$ 
Garnett, Principal, on Faraday and his 

discoveries, 253 
Gas, streets lighted by, in 1818, 61, 90 

— Society makes its own, 91 

— coal-gas V. oil-gas, 90 

— gas-meters not introduced in town in 

1824, 91 

— gas-meters inaccurate, 92 

— porter's chief duty to make gas, 97 



. I- 



INDEX. 



377 



Gateshead, terminus of railway from South, 
124 

— '* Where is Gateshead?" 124 
General Committee on College at Durham, 

264 

General conveyance of goods on wa^on- 
ways, 143 

General Library left at first for considera- 
tion, 174 

— Rev. E. Moises proposes, 174 
Geology, lectures on, by Prof. Ansted, 238 

— lectures on, by Prof. Phillips, 230 

— and Mineralogy, lectures by Robert 

Bakewell, 226 

— science of, being formed, 230 
Geological Society, 28 

George III., Jubilee of— Schools estab- 

blished for Poor, 160 
Germany, system of education in, 273 
Gibson, Thomas, 42, 46 
Gibsone, George, 3oi8 
Gifts to Society, 55, 294, 295, 303 
Glover, Dr., 29, 122, 148, 239 
Gosse, P. H. , on Marine Zoology, 249 
Government School of Art, 319 
Graham, Sir James, memorialised for 

College, 271 
Grainger, Richard, 116, 256 
Grammar School, 10 • 
Grand Masonic Festival, 66 
Gray, George, 107 
Gray, Thomas, his method of ventilation 

adopted, 193 
Gray, William, 51 

Greathead, Henry, and Lifeboat, 162 
Great men who have lectured to Society, 

250 
Greek lectures by Rev. Dr. Snape, 278 
Green, John, architect for new building, 

65, 85, 89 

— plans for College, 265 
Greenhow, T. M., 168, 228, 261, 264, 

269, 270, 271, 304 
Grey, Earl, of the Reform Bill, 107 

— his Ministry friendly to education, 262 
Grey, Albert (now Earl), advises Uni- 
versity Extension lectures, 285 

Hancock, Albany, 294, 313 
Hancock, John, Sen., 294 
Hancock, John, 169, 294, 313 



Hargreaves, Mr. , on the Fancies of Science, 

250 
Harmony of Celestial Phenomena, by Prof^ 

Nichol, 238 
Headlam, Dr., 62, 63, 120 
Heating of building after the fire, 325 
Hedley, Anthony, collection of reports, 

etc., 203 , 
Helmore, F., lectures on Music, 278 
Herbarium of British Plants presented, 

297 
Herd Sands, 162 
Hewitson, W. C, on Tour in Norway, 

169 
Hieroglyphics deciphered, 301 
Higher Education, objections to, 263 
Highland Society, 28 
High Level Bridge, building of, 125 
Highwaymen, 9 
Hints for establishing Coal-owners' Record 

Office at Newcastle, 142 
Hodgkin, Dr., author of "Italy and her 

Invaders," etc, 52 
Hodgson, Dr. W. B., on Classes prior to 

College, 281 
Hodgson, Thomas, compiler of Catalogue 

of 1829, 184 
Holmes, Alfred, valuable services after fire, 

322, 325 
Honorary Members, number of, 46 
— new class of, 54 

Horticultural Mutual Improvement So- 
ciety, 319 
How to stop a lecturer, 255 
Hudson, George, the Railway King, 125 
Humble, Thomas, M.D., 52 
Hume's Essays objected to, 177 
Hunter, John, Governor of New South 

Wales, 296 
Hutton, Dr. Charles, 46, 100, 295 
Hutton, William, 96 
Huxley, Prof., 250 
Hydro-Electricity, detailed account of 

lecture on, by W. G. Armstrong, 240 

Improved mangle, 164 

Increase of members as popular books in- 
crease, 190 

Increase of payments to Library Staff, 176 

India, lectures on, by J. Silk Buckingham, 
238 



I 



fl 



I 



378 



INDEX. 



Inductive Geology, lectures on, by Prof. 

Macintosh, 238 
Industrial Evening College organised, 

284 
Ingham, Robert, 51, 234 
Ions, John, contractor for masonry of new 

building, 65 
Inscription on foundation-stone of New 

Assembly Rooms, 34 
of new building, 72 

— mummy case, 302 
Insects in Museum, 303, 305, 

— from Demerara, 298 
Institute of Naval Architects, 319 
Insurance Company (North British), settle- 
ment with, 324 

Introductory discourse on New Institution 
for public lectures by Mr. Turner, 213 

J ARROW Slake, embankment of, 161 

Jevons, Prof., 250 

Johnston, Prof., 229, 238 

Johnston Laboratory at Durham College 

of Science, 229 
Joiners' Hall, Low Friar Street, lectures 

in, 227 
Jubilee School, scheme for, started by 

Society, 157 
Jubilee year of Society, 120, 122 

Katterfelto, Dr., lectures by, 205 
Killingworth Colliery, 145, 146 
Kinkel, Prof. Gottfried, 250 
Knowles, Sheridan, 237 

Ladies eligible as Reading Members, 56 

— this first Society to admit, 57 

— cloak-room for, 117, 236 

Lake, Dean, aids movement for College, 

283, 285 
Lamb, R. O., 52 
Lambton, H. W. , 68 
Lambton, J. G. , 68, 73, 78 
Lanthom purchased, 54 
Land traffic between England and Scotland, 

6 
Lardner, Dr. Dionysius, 234 
Law Library suggested, 189 
Law Society of Newcastle and Gateshead, 

189 
Law Students' Debating Society, 317 



Lead-mines, papers on, at Monthly Meet- 
ings, 138 

— ore, smelting and refining of, Hugh 

Lee Pattinson on, 168 
Learned Societies, growth of, in England, 

28 
Leathart, James, 314 
Lecture-room, 94 

— enlarged, 116 

— new one presented by Sir W. G. 

Armstrong, 131 
Lecturer to Society, post no sinecure, 216 

— first course by, 216 

— cost of, to end of third course, 218 

— his courses generally, 223 

— new arrangements for, in new building, 

224 
Lectures (general under titles and names of 
lecturers, and complete list in Appendix 

B.) 

— to children, 253 

— courses other than Mr. Turner's, 226 

— under Society's patronage, 226, 227 

— courses by Society's arrangement, 228- 

238 

— Special Committee for, 230 

— by members, 238, 248 

— changes in character of, 251 

— paper upon history and future of, 252 

— statistics of, 258 

— educational courses advocated, 270 

— courses on Philosophy of Mathematics, 

by Rev. James Snape, 272 
Mechanical Engineering, by J. F. 

Sp>encer, 272 
Chemistry, by Prof. FreireMarreco, 

272 
Mental Philosophy, by Dr. Merz, 

284 

— courses to prove need for College, 277 

— paper suggesting University Extension 

lectures, 286 

— miscellaneous lectures suspended, 288 

— courses of University Extension 

lectures, 289 

— Centenary lecture by Lord Armstrong, 

321 
Letter from M. Norberg, 136 
Lettsom, Dr. John, 46 
Library proposed by Rev. E. Moises, 47, 

174 



INDEX. 



379 



Library, numbers of books at different 
periods, 175, 176, 180, 183, 327 

— aim of Society in, 179 

— novels admitted, 179 

— Reference department of, 185 

— shortcomings attended to, 192 

— ventilation of, 193 

— increase of book-room in, 1951 196 

— on fire, 322 

— temporary accommodation, 323 

— re-construction of, 324 

— what it now offers, 327 
Liddell, Henry Thomas, 51 
Lifeboat, invention of, discussed, 162 
Linguistic Association, 319 
Linnaean Society, 28 

Literary Club amongst members, 96 
"Lit. and Phil.," The, 131 
Liverpool and Manchester Railway dis- 
cussed, 167 
*• Loafs of the Goats," 257 
Loftus, William Kenneth, 108 
Losh, James, 106 
Lough, John Graham, loi, 102 
Lukin, Lionel, patents a lifeboat, 162 
Lyall, William, 278 
Lyell, Sir Charles, 230 

Macaulay's "Virginia," 258 

Macbeth and the Witches, by Edward 

Train, 106 
MaccuUoch, Rev. Dr., presents Nova 

Scotian insects, 303 
Macgregor, John, on state of River Tyne, 

168 
Macintosh, Prof., on Inductive Geology, 

238 
Magnetism and Electricity, paper by 

Hugh Lee Pattinson, 168 
Manchester, Literary and Philosophical 

Society of, 28 
Mansion House, inconvenient hospitality 

at, 5 
Marat, "People's Friend," in Newcastle, 

15 

Marreco, Prof. Freire, lectures on " Chem- 
istry," 272, 277 

Massey, Gerald, on " Poetic Literature," 

249 
Mathematics, by Rev. James Snape, 238, 

239, 272 



McAlister, Rev. J., defends Mr. Turner, 
120 

Medical Book Club, 31 

Medical Society, 32 

Medicine, School of, 263, 275 

Mental Philosophy, lectures by Dr. Merz, 
284 

Merivale, Professor, 315, 322 

Merz, Dr. J. T., 284 

Meteorological observations, 1 19 

Milo makes mischief, 102 

Mineralogical collection at Dresden, pur- 
chase of, proposed, 295 

Mineralogy, application of, by Dr. Ure, 
238 

Minerals, Committee to arrange, 297 

Mines, circulation of air in, 139 

Mining Institute, 195, 275, 282, 283, 292, 

317 
Miscellaneous lectures, 249, 287, 288 

Mitchell, Charles, 315 

Moises, Rev. Edward, 42, 81, 107, 174, 

220 

Moises, Rev. Hugh, 10 

Montgomery, James, on " British Poetry," 

233 

Monthly Meetings, early papers at, 135 

— account of papers read in first year, 

136 et seq. 

— papers on coal questions most numer- 

ous, 140 

— all new inventions connected with 

coal brought before them, 143 

— safety -lamp discussed, 147, 148, 150 

— agricultural questions, 151 

— antiquarian papers, 152 

— proposed census of Newcastle, 153 

— state of the poor, 154 

— education of the poor, 155 

— miscellaneous questions, 161, 162, 164, 

165, 168, 170 

— improvement of river, 161, 162, 168 

— smelting of lead ore, 150, 168 

— invention of Daguerreotype, 170 

— phonography, 170 

— spheroidal condition of liquids, 171 

— water for propelling machinery, 171 

— voltaic and frictional electricity, 171 
Moorsom, W. M., on Political Economy, 

285 
Morley, The Right Hon. John, 250 






m 



380 



INDEX, 



INDEX. 



381 



Morrison, Rev. Dr., 107 

Moyes, Henry, on Philosophy of Natural 

History, 203 
Mudie's Library, large subscription to, 193 
Mummy presented, 299 

— Ram, 301 

— No. 2, 304 

— examined before members, 304 
Murchison, Sir Roderick J., 230 
Murray, John, 42 

Museum, purchase of Wycliffe collection, 
96 

— insects in, 298, 303, 305 

— British shells in, 305 

— expenses of, 306 

— jealousy of, 306 

— collections deposited with Natural 

History Society, 311 

— terms of deposit, 312 

— sale to Natural History Society, 312 
Musical Society granted use of rooms, 293 
Music, Science of, by Thomas Adams, 236 

— lectures, by Mr. W. Rea and Mr. F. 

Helmore, 278 
Mutilation of books, 177 

National Home Reading Union, 319 

— Phonc^aphic Association, 319 

— Society of Musicians, 319 

Natural History, repository for subjects of, 

294 
Natural History Society, birth of, 1 10 

— purchases land from the Society, 116 

— aims at Mining Institute, 150 

— requiring extension, 274 

— first child of parent Society, 293 

— noble museum, 295 

— friends to formation of, called together, 

307 

— formed, 308 

— harmonious relationship with parent, 

309 

— land sold to, by parent, 31 1 

— precise terms of arrangement, 312 

— purchase Society's collections, 312 

— remove to Barras Bridge, 312 

— splendid collections of Nature and 

Art, 312 
New Assembly Rooms, foundation-stone 

laid, 34 
New building, foundation-stone laid, 74 



New building opened, 92 

— description of, 93 

— first meeting held in, 94 

— actual cost of, 98 

— new wing of, 132, 196 
Newcastle, county of self, I 

— John Wesley on, 2 

— walls and gates of, 3 

— improvement of bridge, 16 1 

— leading place in scientific inquiry, 208 

— cholera in, 229 

— work done for by Society, 250 

— eligible site for College, 262 

— hospital at, excellent and extensive, 

263 

— education in, twenty-five years ago, 

276 

— affiliated to Cambridge, 288 
Newcastle alderman on ladies' cloak-room, 

117 
Newcastle Daily Chronicle prints papers 
read at meetings, 170 

— upon College at Durham, 267 
Newcastle Health Society, 319 
Newcastle Royal Infirmary, 319 
Newcastle Teachers' Association, 319 
New Institution, title of lectures at first, 

218 

— opposition to, 218 

— merges in Society, 230 

New Lecture Room, 130, 131, 217, 219, 
235, 251 

New premises, 58 

New South Wales, animals from, 296 
— plants from, 297 

New wing to Library, 132, 196 

Neville Street opened, 116 

Nichol, Professor, 237, 249 

Nicholls, Henry, dramatic readings by, 
249 

Norberg, M., 136 

North- East Coast Engineers' and Ship- 
builders' Association, 319 

North-Eastern Institute of Mining En- 
gineers, 150 

— John Buddie, 120, 317 

— Nicholas Wood's opening address, 318 

— and College, 282 
North-Eastern Railway, 132, 196 
North-Eastern Sanitary Association, 319 
Northern Aichitectural Association, 319 



Northern Counties' Photographic Associa- 
tion, 319 
North of England Microscopical Society, 

319 
North of England Volunteer Service Insti- 
tution, 319 
Northumberland and District Teachers' 

Union, 319 
Northumberland, Duke of, 193 
Norway, by W. C. Hewitson, 169 
Nova Scotia, insects from, 303 
Novels, introduction of, 178, 179, 189 
Number and cost of lectures, 258 
Number of members, 46, 117, 130, 326 
— of volumes destroyed or damaged by 
fire, 324 

in Library, 175, 176, 183, 327 

to be taken out at once, 327 

Objections to Higher Education, 263 

Oil-gas, lighting by, 90 et seq. 

Old Assembly Rooms, 54 

Old Newcastle, by Richard Welford, 321 

Opinion of Mr. Butler on holding Society's 

property, 49 , , ^ , . 

Ordnance Maps presented by Duke of 

Northumberland, 194 
Origin and Progress of Civil Society, by 

Rev. W. Turner, Jun., 227 
Ormston, Robert, 51 
Outline of porter's duties, 97 
Owen, Prof. Richard, 250 

Painter Heugh, 4 

Pair of Snuffers, 54 

Paley's Evidences objected to, 177 

Palmer, Captain, and Baffin's Bay, 255 

Patent paddle-wheel, 170 

Pattinson, Hugh Lee (desilverising pro- 
cess), 151, 170, 228, 250 

Peace, restoration of, 1802, 211 

Pemberton, Dr., 42, 46 

Pepper, Mr., on Light and Chemistry, 249 

Percival, Dr., 46 

Pharaoh's daughter, 299 

Philipson, Dr., 52 

Phillips, Prof., on Geology, 230 

Phillips, Henry, on Music, 249 

Philosophy, lectures by Dr. Merz, 284 

Philosophy of the Human Mind, by John 
Taylor, 234 



Philosophical Society in Westgate Street, 

IS 

— Thomas Spence a member of, 18 

— expelled from, 18 

— rules of, 19 

— thorn in Society's side, 25 
Philosophical and Medical Society formed, 

30 
Phonography, 170 

Phrenology, lectures by George Combe, 231 

Phrenological Society, 232 

Pillory in Newcastle, 8 

Pim, Captain Bedford, on the Arctic Re- 
gions, 249 

Platypus Ornithorhyncus, 297 

Plumbers' Association, 319 

Poet Laureate, the new : poet or patriot ? 
223 

Point of precedence, 47 

Political Economy, lectures by Mr. Arnaud, 
228 

Poor, State of, 154 

— Education of, 156 

Port Jackson, settlement at, 136, 296 
Position of Education in Newcastle twenty- 
eight years since, 276 
Press-gang, 9 
Priestley, Rev. Dr., 46 
Primary Education, England, 155 

— Newcastle, 156 
Privileges offered by Society, 327 
Procession to site of building, 71 
Professors, value of, to city, 273, 280 
Prophets of evil, 98 

Public Library, Thomlinson's transferred 

to, 181 
Public Libraries, defence of, 95 
Punch on Phrenolc^, 232 
Purchase of works *' in continuation," 183 

Quack doctors, 9 

Quay, new line of, above bridge proposed, 

161 
Questions respecting natural history of 

coal, 140 

Railways in the world, 234 
Ramsay, Dr. John, 42, 46 
Ramsay, Prof., 250 
Ravensworth, Lord, 314 
Rea, W., 278 



W 



382 



INDEX. 



INDEX. 



383 



h 



Reading members, new class of, 56 

— students, 185 

Reading (now smoking) room used as 
library, 323 

Reference, works of, 182, 185 

Register of atmospheric changes, 119 

Religion and Politics, discussion of, pro- 
hibited, 43, 329 

Respiration, lecture by Dr. Glover, 240 

Richardson, Isaac, 156, 157, 160 

Rich, F. W., appointed Architect for 
restoration, 323, 325 

Ridley, Sir M. W., 51, 70, 75. 83 

River T)me Commissioners, 162 

Robert the Bruce, 107 

Robinson, Dr., 316 

Rolleston, Prof. George, 250 

Rooms opened after fire, 325 

Rosetta stone, 301 

Royal Archaeological Institute, 319 

— Agricultural Society, 315 

— Astronomical Society, 28 

— Geographical Society, 28 

— Grammar School, 10, 209, 267, 276 

— Institution, 28 

— Irish Academy, 28 

— Society of Edinburgh, 28 

— Society of London, 28 
Rules, earliest, 43 
Rymer Jones, Prof. , 238 

Sadler, Mr., on Aerostation, 226 

Sandhill, 4 

Safety-lamps, 144-150 

Sanitary Association, 316 

Scheme of instruction in proposed College, 
266 

Scholarships to Secondary Schools, 261 

School of Art, 275 

Scotch Universities, 206, 262 

Scott, John (Lord Eldon), 1 1 

Scott, William (Lord Stowell), 11 

Scott, William Bell, 109 

Seeley, J. R. (Sir), 250, 272 

Selby, Mr., 313 

Servants, outlines of duties, 97 

Shelley Society, 319 

Sheridan Knowles, 237 

Sierra Leone, 137 

Simpson, James, on Educational Philo- 
sophy, 234 



«' Sir William," 131 

Sites for new building, 58, 62 

Skene, Lieut. A. M., his patent paddle- 
wheel, 170 

Slave-trade, 9 

Smith, James, 51 

Smoking Room, 326 

Snape, Rev. James, 52, 238, 239, 272, 278 

Social Science Association Meeting at New- 
castle, paper on utilisation of fellows, 279 

Society of Arts, paper on Society's classes, 
281 

Society of Chemical Industry, 319 

Society for National Insurance, 319 

Society of Teachers, 319 

Some Newcastle worthies, 109 

Song in honour of Duke of Sussex, 67 

Sopwith, Thomas, 244 
— lectures on economic geology by, 244 

Sorsbie, Malin, 42 

South country pronunciation, 258 

South Sea Island curios brought by Captain 
Cook, 294 

Specifications of Patents kept for public, 

Speculations on a Literary Society, 34 

Spence, Robert, 54 

Spence, Thomas, 16-22 

Spencer, J. F., on " Mechanical Engineer- 
ing," 272 

Spineto, Marquis di, on Antiquities of 
Egypt, 238 

St. Mark's ex-students, 319 

St. Nicholas' Churchyard, 53 

Statistics of education in Newcastle, 159 

Steam-engine, Dr. Dionysius Lardner on, 

234 
Stephenson, David, 42, 46 

Stephenson, George, 108, 124, 145, 147, 

167, 250 
Stephcison, Robert, 108, 109, 128, 130, 

167, 250 
Stocks, 8 

Stones from Roman Wall, 152 
Storey, Nicholas, 42 
Study of the classics, 137 
Suggested combination of Societies, 115 
Sussex, Duke of, 66, 69, 70, 71, 74 et seq. 
Swan, J. W., 250 
Swinburne, A. C , 105 
Swinburne, Sir John E., 52, 105 



» 



Taylor, Prof. Edward, on English Church 

Music, 238 
Taylor, Hugh, 52 
Taylor, John, on Philosophy of the Human 

Mind, 234 
Temporary Library during restorations, 

323 
Theft of books, 195 
"The Lit. and Phil," 131 
Thomas, William, 142, 143 
Thomlinson's Library, no, in 

— catalogue to, printed, 113 
Thomlinson, Dr. Robert, no 
Thorburn, Dr., on "Conjectures on 

Light," 137 
Thornhill, John, 96, 192, 297 
Thorp, Charles, 51 
Town Council, debate in, upon Society, 

129 
Town Improvement Act on Building, 93 
Tradesmen's tokens, paper on, 138 
Transverse book-cases introduced, 195 
Travelling and traffic between England and 

Scotland, 6 
Trevelyan, John, 308 
Trevelyan, Sir W. C, 308 
Trinity College, 319 
Trustees, 51 

Tunstall, Marmaduke, 100 
Turner, Rev. William, 42, 46, 174, 222, 

254, 260 

— brief account of, 33 

— " Speculations on a Literary Society," 

by, 34 

— read at meeting at Assembly Rooms, 

35 

— his hopes since fulfilled, 37 

— idea in his mind as to Society, 41, 134 

— health proposed at banquet to Duke of 

Sussex, 80 

— address at first meeting in new build- 

ing, 94 

— memorial to, 106 

— was he founder of Society ? 120 

— letters to, from Thomas Clarkson, 137 

— on northern lead-mine district, 138 

— proposes queries on coal, 140 

— gives account of movable steam- 

engine, 144, 165 

— assists George Stephenson, 146 

— comments on census of 1801, 153 



Turner, Rev. William, brings forward short 
supply of papers at meetings, 165 

— proposes introduction of lectures, 1798, 

2io6 

— chosen lecturer to Society; intro- 

ductory discourse, 213 

— first course by, 216 

— pajrment for lectures, 218, 224 

— patience in controversy, 219 

— Mr. Moises and, 220 

— held post to 1833 ; courses given, 223 

— resignation and testimonial, 224 

— preliminary essay for Natural History 

Society, 309 
Turner, Rev. William, Jun., on Civil 

Society, 227 
Turton, Dr., 305 
Tyne, port of, 7 

— trade of, 8 

Tyneside Geographical Society, 319 
Tyneside Naturalists' Field Club, 319 

Unearned Increment, result of lecture on, 

179 
Universal standard of weights and measures, 

161 
University of Cambridge Extension lectures, 

285 
University of Durham opened, 264 

— Newcastle Chronicle on, 267 

— broken hopes of, 270 

— proposal to move to Newcastle, 273 

— School of Medicine and, 275 

— immediate cause of Collie at New- 

castle, 282 

— Mining Institute appeal to, in vain, 

283 
University Extension lectures, how intro- 
duced, 285 

— students in colliery districts, 285 

— character and nature of movement, 

286 

— adopted by Society, 287 

— affiliation scheme adopted and given 

up, 288 

— number of courses already given, 288 

— attendance at, of students and others, 

289 

— list and titles of courses given, 289 
Utilisation of Fellows scheme in 1870, 

279 



384 



INDEX, 



Vacations of Scotch Universities, 206 

Vegetarian Society, 319 

Ventilation of Library, new method of, 

193 

Wailes, George, superintends Catalogue 

of 1848, 190 
Wallace, A. R., 250 
Wallau, Jacob, on Engineering, 277 
Washing machine described in paper, 164 
Water ballast, paper on, 164 
Watson, John, on the Moon, 249 
Watson, Joseph, moves reduction of sub- 
scription, 129 

— short account of, 130 

— assists Mr. Greenhow in movement 

for College, 270 

— chairman of Fine Arts Society, 314 
Watson, Robert, military and civil en- 
gineer, 139 

Watson, Robert Spence, 52, 132, 276, 277, 

285, 286, 287 
Watt, James, bust of, lOO 
Waugh, Mr., 297 

Waveriey Novels not introduced, 178 
Weights and Measures, universal standard 

of, 161 
Welford, Richard, on "Old Newcastle," 

321 
Wesley, John, in Newcastle, 2 
Westmoreland Place and House, 65 
** Where is Gateshead? " 124 
Widdrington, John, First President, 46 
Wilkinson, Mr., lectures on Comparative 

Anatomy, 1798, 204 



Williamson, Robert Hopper, Recorder of 
Newcastle, 42 

— advises as to Society's property, 48, 50 

— leaves Society as too revolutionary, 81 
Winch, N. J., 254, 297 

Wombach or Wombat, 297 
Women Members, no provision for, at 
first, 45 

— admitted as Reading Members, 56 

— our Society first which admitted, 57 

— "the thin edge of the wedge," 57 
Wood, Dr., 46 

Wood, Nicholas, assists with * ' the Geordy," 

14s 

— explains it to Society, 147 

— President of Mining Institute, 282 

— advocates provision of Mining College, 

282 
Wood Memorial Hall, 195, 282, 321 
Wouldhave, William, and lifeboat, 162 
Wright, J. B., presents second mummy, 304 
Wycliffe Museum, purchase of, 302 

Young, Dr., and Rosetta stone inscription, 

301 
Youth of male sex allowed to become 

Associates, 45 

Zoological Society, 28 

Appendix A— Mr. Thomas's paper (see 

p. 142), 331 ^ . , T * A 

Appendix B — List of Lectures and 

Lecturers, 339 
Appendix C— Honorary Officials, 367 



PRINTED BY WALTER SCOTT, LTD., FELLING, NEWCASTLE. 



i 



^ixai %\iii of ^\x%m\%m. 



Adams, W. E., Esq., 32 Holly Avenue, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Adamson, Rev. E. Hussey, M.A., St. 
Alban's Vicarage, Heworth 

Allan, George, Esq., 18 Blackett Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Allan, Messrs. T. & G., 18 Blackett Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Andrew, David, Esq., 33 Osborne Road, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Archer, Mark, Esq., Farnacres, Ravens- 
worth, Gateshead-on-Tyne 
Armstrong, Hugh C, Esq., Tynemouth 

Armstrong, The Right Hon. Lord, Crac- 
side, Rothbury 

Arnison, W. D., Esq., M.D., Oxford 
btreet, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

B. 

Barclay, Robert Grenfell, Esq., Bank 
House, Shotley Bridge, Co. Durham 

Bell, Sir Lowthian, Rowton Grange, 
Northallerton 

Bowden, Thomas, Esq., 42 Mosley Street. 
Newcastle on-Tyne 



Boyd, W., Esq., North House, Lomr- 
benton ^ 

Brown, Peter, Esq., Cambridge House, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Browne & Browne, Messrs., Grey Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Burton, W. S., Esq., 19 Claremont Park, 
Gateshead-on-Tyne 



c. 

Cackett, Jas. T., Esq., 113 Osborne Road, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Cail, Septimus, A., Esq., 20 Hawthorn 
Terrace, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Clarke, Mrs., The Hermitage, Gateshead- 
on-Tyne 

Cochrane, John, Esq., Westgate Road, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Cowen, Joseph, Esq., Stella Hall, 
Blaydon-on-Tyne 

Cox, Dr., West View, Gateshead-on-Tyne 

Craig, James, Esq., 11 Prior's Terrace, 
Tynemouth 

Crawford, Thomas, Esq., 10 Haldane 
Terrace, Newcastle-on-Tyne 



'WW 

u 



FIRST LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



FIRST LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



\\\ 



D. 



r 



Dale, Sir David, West Lodge, Darlington 

Dees, R. R., Esq., The Hall, Wallsend, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Dendy, Fred. W., Esq., Eldon House, 
Jesmond, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Duke, Henry, Esq., The Castle, Tyne- 
mouth 

B. 

Elswick Mechanics' Institute, Elswick, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Embleton, Dennis, Esq., M.D., F.R.CP., 
19 Claremont Place, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne 

Emley, Fred., Esq., Mosley Chambers, 
Mosley Street, NewcasUe-on-Tyne 

P. 

Fenwick, George J., Esq., Crag-Head, 
Bournemouth 

Foster, Robert, Esq., The Quarries West, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

FrankUn, W. E., Esq., 42 Mosley Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Franklin, Mrs. W. E., 42 Mosley Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Friends' Book Society, Sunderland 

a 

Gibb, Charles John, Esq., M.D., Sandy- 
ford Park, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Gibson, Miss G. M., Shotley Bridge, Co. I 

Durham 
Goodger, C. W. S., Esq., Tynemouth 
Gurney, Mrs., White House, Newcastle 

on-Tyne 



Hall, James, Esq., 9 Pnor's Terrace, 
Tynemouth 



Hedley, E. A., Esq., 8 Osborne Villas, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Hills & Co , Messrs., 19 Fawcett Street, 
Sunderland 

Hodgkin, Thomas, Esq., LL.D., The 
Keep, Bamburgh 

Holdsworth, D. A.. Esq., 2 Rectory 
Terrace, South Gosforth, Newcastle- 
on-Tyne 

Holmes, Alfred, Esq., Broomfield, Jes- 
mond, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Holmes, Wm. Henry, Esq., Wellburn, 
Jesmond, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Howson, Alfred, Esq., 8 Heaton Road, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 



J. 

Jackson, Joseph, Esq., 25 Leazes Terrace, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Joicey, Sir James, Bart., M.P., Longhirst, 
Morpeth 



Knowles, W. H., Esq., Wyncote, Jes- 
mond Park East, Newcastle-on-Tyne 



Lamb, Edmund, Esq., Old Lodge, Salis- 
bury 

Lambert, Thomas, Esq., 38 Beverley 
Terrace, CuUercoats 

Literary and Philosophical Society, The, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne (20 copies) 

Lord, Riley, Esq., Highfield, Gosforth 

Lovibond, Thos. Watson, Esq., West 
Jesmond House, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Lupton, B., Esq., Beechcroft, Gosforth, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Lyell, Mrs. Knox, Peepy, Stocksfield-on- 
Tyne 



M. 

Maclean, G. W., Esq., Jesmond Villas, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Martin, N. H., Esq., F.L.S., etc., 8 
Windsor Crescent, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Mawson, Swan, & Morgan, Messrs., Grey 
Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Marshall, Frank, Esq., Claremont House, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

McPherson, John E., Esq., 4 Bentinck 
Villas, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Merivale, John H., Esq., Togston Hall, 
Acklington 

Merz, J. Theo., Esq., The Quarries, New- 
castle-on-Tyne 

Mitchell, Charles A., Esq., Jesmond 
Towers, Newcastle-on-Tyne 



N. 

North of England Institute of Mining and 
Mechanical Engineers (per M. Walton 
Brown, Esq.), Newcastle-on-Tyne 

North of England School Furnishing Co., 
Ltd., Messrs. The, Grainger Street 
West, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Newall, Mrs., Femdene, Gateshead-on- 
Tyne 

Nisbet, Robt. S., 8 Grove Street, New- 
castle-on-Tyne 



o. 

Oliver, Thomas, Esq., M.D., 7 Ellison 
Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne 



P. 



Pattinson, John, Esq., F.I.C., Shipcote 
House, Gateshead-on-Tyne 

Pease, John W., Esq., Pendower, New- 
castle-on-Tyne 



Philipson, John, Jun., 9 Victoria Square, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Philipson, Prof. George Hare, M.A., 
M.D., F.R.CP., 7 Eldon Square, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Plummer, W. R., Esq., 4 Queen Square, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Porteus, Messrs. R. J. & Co., Ltd., 
Grainger Street West, Newcastle-on- 
Tyne 

Powell, David, Esq. , Grove House, Sum- 
merhill Grove, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Proctor, Bernard S., Esq., II Grey Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 



B. 



Rapp, Messrs. W. & Sons, The Library, 

Saltburn 
Rea, J. S., Esq., 19 Beverley Terrace, 

CuUercoats 

Reid, W. B., Esq., Cross House, Leazes, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, David, Esq., The Gables, 
Elswick Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, Lawrence, Esq., The Gables, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, Miss C. c/o Dr. Merz, The 
Quarries, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, Mrs. James, South Ashfield, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, Wigham, Esq., Wingrove 
House, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Richardson, William, Esq., Rosehill, 
Willington-on-Tyne 

Ridley, Sir Matthew White, Bart., M.P., 
Blagdon, Cramlington, Northumberl'd 

Ridley, Thomas D., Esq., Coatham, 
Redcar 

Ritson, U. A., Esq., I Jesmond Gardens, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Robinson, Wm. H., Esq., 20 Osborne 
Avenue, Newcastle-on-Tyne 



IV 



FIRST LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 






Robinson, W. H., Esq., Nelson Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Robson, Robert, Esq., 13 Framlington 
Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Rowntree, Joseph, Esq., The Cocoa 
Works, York 



s. 



Scott, Walter, ^Esq., Bentinck House, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Shipley, J. A. D., Esq., Salt well Park 
House, Gateshead-on-Tyne 

Simpson, Edward, Esq., 26 Dean Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Simpson, Henry, Esq., 9I Ridley Villas, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Simpson, John B., Esq., Bradley Hall, 
Wylam-on-Tyne 

Simpson, Walter C, Esq., 26 Dean Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Spence, C. J., Esq., South Preston Lodge, 
North Shields 

Stenhouse, The Rev. Thomas, Ph.D., 
Stocksfield-on-Tyne 

Stockdale, H. F., Esq., Durham College 
of Science, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Strang, T. R., Esq., Beverley Terrace, 
CuUercoats 

Swinburne, M. W., Esq., 117 Park Road, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 



Taylor, The Rev. Edward J., F.S.A., St. 
Cuthbert's, Durham 

Temperley, Nicholas, Esq., Carlton 
Terrace, Low Fell 

Thorne, Thomas, Esq., 40 Blackett Street, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Tristram, The Rev. Canon H. B., D.D., 
F.R.S., The College, Durham 

u. 

Urwin, Robert, Esq., Sherburn Villa, 
Jesmond, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

w. 

Walker, Rev. J., Whalton Rectory, 
Whalton 

Waugh, R., Esq., 135 Northumberland 
Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Welford, Richard, Esq., Thornfield Villa, 
Gosforth, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Westmacott, Percy G. B., Esq., Benwell 
Hill, Newcastle-on-Tyne 

Whitwell,^ William, Esq., J.P., C.C, 
Overdene, Saltburn-by-the-Sea 

WUson, R. H., Esq., 8 Walker Terrace, 
Gateshead-on-Tyne 

T. 

Youll, J. Gibson, Esq., Clerk of the 
Peace, Newcastle-on-Tyne fL 



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